New ABU Champion, Catherine Phiri rewarded by GOVERNMENT

WPBF championship title Catherine Phiri fight
WPBF championship title Catherine Phiri fight

GOVERNMENT has opened two accounts for newly-crowned Africa Boxing Union (ABU) bantamweight champion Catherine Phiri.
And Minister of Youth and Sport Chishimba Kambwili donated K5,000 to go towards Phiri’s education.
The first account will be used to raise money for the purchase of the house, while the other one will be for raising money to send Catherine to the United States of America for intensive training.
Kambwili said at a briefing in Lusaka yesterday that Catherine has done the country proud.
Kambwili said former President Mwanawasa set a precedent in 2008 when he rewarded retired boxer Esther Phiri with a house after her success.
He said it is important that the Patriotic Front government rewards Catherine.
“Catherine is a world champion in the making and it is also imperative that as PF we buy her a house. But we are facing a lot of challenges in the treasury. So we are going to ask the corporate world to contribute,” Kambwili said.
Catherine knocked out Toma Babirye of Uganda on Saturday night in the eighth round of the scheduled 10 at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
He implored corporate organisations to contribute towards the purchase of Catherine’s house because it is important that the boxer lives a life befitting a champion.
The minister said the government will see how much will be raised within two months and will consider topping up if need arose.
“The houses at National Housing Authority are going for K300,000 and K800,000. So we will get a house depending on how much we are going to raise. I appeal to the general public and the corporate world to assist. Please let us contribute towards this noble cause of buying Catherine a house,” Kambwili said.
He said government intends to send Catherine to the United States of America particularly Las Vegas where acclaimed international boxing trainers are found.
Meanwhile, Kambwili said government is considering helping Catherine with her education.
Catherine is a grade nine pupil a Namununga School in Lusaka.
The minister advised Phiri to remain disciplined and focused.
“Young lady, the sky is the limit. Just be disciplined. You are a world champion in the making,” Kambwili said.
He also paid tribute to Charles Manyuchi for defeating Isaac Sowah in another ABU bantamweight title fight.
He said even if Manyuchi is a Zimbabwean, he deserves to be congratulated because he is fighting under a Zambian stable.
Kambwili thanked Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions and other sponsors that contributed towards the hosting of the tournament.
And Catherine thanked the government for the support rendered to her.
She said the gesture to buy her a house and send her to the United States of America will motivate her to do more for the country.
She said Kambwili has been supportive to her career.
Catherine’s manager Chris Malunga thanked government for the gesture.
Malunga said the gesture will not only motive Catherine but other upcoming boxers.
Malunga, who is Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions operations manager, said camping Catherine in the United States of America will help to put her in a right condition ahead of the pending World Boxing Council title fight.
And Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo hailed Kambwili for taking the initiative of buying Phiri a house.
Makembo also appealed to the government to open an account that will help other sports personalities that have brought glory to the nation.