Langton Nyakwenda

ZIMBABWE is set to host another historic African Boxing Union title fight at 7 Arts Theatre in Avondale tonight.

The event is set to boost the Government’s sports tourism policy, as boxers and officials from different African countries are converging in Harare.

Zimbabwean pugilist, Aliyah “Lantso” Phiri, will defend his African Boxing Union lightweight title against Saidi Mkola of Tanzania, in the main bout of an exciting line up.

Boxers from Zimbabwe and Malawi will also feature on the undercard while match officials are coming from Uganda, Namibia, Malawi and Tanzania.

The event is being seen as an endorsement of boxing, a sport that has witnessed remarkable growth in the country, especially in recent years.

Phiri, a 23-year-old boxer who was raised in Hatcliffe, is one of the popular local pugilists alongside the likes of former World Boxing Council Silver champion Charles Manyuchi and Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire.

Should Phiri successfully defend his belt, he will be well positioned for a shot at the World Boxing Council Africa lightweight title, which is now the official gateway to the more prestigious WBC international belts.

ABU secretary general, Maureen Mulangira, who will be the match commissioner, highlighted the magnitude of the fight at yesterday’s weigh in.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Government of Zimbabwe,” she said.

“Professional boxing is business and I would like to assure you that the ABU president and his team mean well for boxing in Zimbabwe.”

Coincidentally, Mulangira was voted the first female secretary of the ABU at a Convention held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, in 2022.

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