EXCITEMENT is building ahead of the first African Boxing Union fight to be staged in Zimbabwe this Friday.
Rising prospect, Aliya Phiri, takes on Israel “Money Machine” Kamwamba for the ABU lightweight stripe.
Both the belt and Phiri’s opponent are already in the country for the fight at the 7 Arts Theatre in Harare.
Both boxers were bubbly during yesterday’s press briefing in Borrowdale with Kamwamba, who has a good record against Zimbabweans, saying he was here for business.
Just last month, Kamwamba successfully wrestled the World Boxing Federation title from Evans Usayihwevhu in Chivhu and he will be hoping to repeat the feat against Phiri.
“Thank you very much for the welcome that I have received from Zimbabwe. I have been preparing for this ABU fight for a long time now.
“So, what I can say is that I am more than ready for this fight. My nickname “Money Machine” was earned from winning not from losing.
“I don’t have many words to say but I know Aliya is a good boxer, I am also a good boxer so come in your large numbers so that you can watch a good fight.”
Phiri, who is having his first shot at a title fight, promised to keep the belt in Zimbabwe.
“Let me first thank my team, my coach Ali ‘Otto’ Phiri and my father.
“I have so much respect for my Malawian opponent who is a champion in Malawi. But he is the champion in Malawi not here.
“I have been preparing for this day and night. I have been bleeding and I have been in tears and all I can say is that I am ready.
“I have already won this belt. I don’t know if you can see or believe it but I am going to win.”
Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board acting chief executive officer Priscilla Kadungure hailed the Government for supporting the hosting of this historic bout in this country.
“As the Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board, we are fully behind the ABU from where many champions from Africa have flourished,” she said.
“I congratulate these two boxers, Israel Kamwamba and Aliya Phiri, who will be in the ring, to battle it out for the ABU lightweight title this Friday.”