NewsDay (Zimbabwe)

Madziwane gets his chance

- BY MICHAEL KARIATI Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZim­babwe

IT'S-MAKE-OR-BREAK for Zimbabwe's Tinashe Madziwane when he steps into the ring at the Windhoek Country Club in Namibia this evening to challenge Nathaniel Kakololo for the African Boxing Union featherwei­ght title.

Madziwane and trainer Cyde Musonda have been in Namibia since Sunday last week to acclimatis­e with the environmen­t and today, they will know whether the journey was worth the effort.

“We arrived here last Sunday and we have been training for this bout. Now that the time has come, it's now time to show the rest of the world what we are capable of,” Musonda said.

The African Boxing Union title is a route towards challengin­g for the World Boxing Council (WBC) belt and at the age of 32, Madziwane knows he has to do it now as age is not on his side.

Going into the bout, Madziwane appears the more experience­d of the two fighters although Kakololo has a very impressive record. The Namibian has won 10 of his 12 fights, lost one and drawn once.

Madziwane on the other hand has been into the ring on 27 occasions, winning 17 of those fights and losing in 10, with one drawn.

Prior to his departure for Windhoek, Madziwane was camped in Chivhu where he was sparring with boxers from the Charles Manyuchi Academy to improve his fitness.

“We were sparring with the best in Zimbabwe and Tinashe is ready for the fight. He knows what winning this title means to his life. We should be celebratin­g at the end of the fight” said Musonda.

The Charles Manyuchi Academy has built itself a good name in Zimbabwean boxing circles and also houses Brendon Denese, the World Boxing

Organisati­on's Africa welterweig­ht champion.

Coincident­ally, the route that Madziwane wants to take is the same road that Manyuchi travelled on his way to becoming the WBC silver belt middleweig­ht title holder.

Manyuchi first wrestled the African Boxing Union title from Patrice Peko of Burkina Faso in 2013 before he was accorded the chance to challenge for the WBC title.

The African Boxing Union and the World Boxing Council have a strong relationsh­ip that enables African champions to challenge for the prestigiou­s WBC titles.

Other Zimbabwean boxers who won ABU titles are the late Proud “Kilimanjar­o” Chinembiri, Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago and Stix McLoud. Although he won the Commonweat­h title, Arifonso Zvenyika, the “Mosquito” never fought for the ABU title.

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