ZIMBABWE boxer Tapiwa Tembo will visit Pastor Emmanuel Makandiwa’s United Family International Church (UFIC) today seeking spiritual blessings ahead of the November 2 World Boxing Union (WBU) Bantamweight world title fight against Zambia’s Gibon Kamota.
BY ALBERT MARUFU
Coincidentally, the 12-round bout will take place at the City Sports Centre, which is also home to Pastor Makandiwa’s UFIC.
The boxer confirmed to Standardsport that he will be visiting the church today.
“We have to put everything before God, and that is why we will go to church on Sunday [today]. Tikaita zvisina Mwari hapana chinoshanda [without God’s helping hand, it will not work out]. In Cape Town I worship with Hillsong Church,” he said.
His trainer Clyde Musonda also echoed the boxer’s sentiments.
“Preparations for the WBU fight are at an advanced stage. We are getting support from everywhere and UFIC has donated some of their equipment to use on the day of the fight. On Sunday [today] we will be going to the church. We asked them about their views on boxing and they said they viewed it just like any other sport,” he said.
He also revealed that of their team, only two people — marketing manager Arnold Chirume and Cephas Marikisi of logistics — are members of the church.
Musonda said they have pegged the tickets for the bout at US$3 for the rest of the ground, while those who want to sit by the ringside will have to fork out US$10.
“We want Zimbabweans to come in their numbers for this fight. We are also talking to a promoter so that musicians can also grace the occasion,” he said.
With eight wins, two losses and one draw making up his professional career so far, Tembo, who is a protégé of former three-time Commonwealth champion Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago, hopes to become the first Zimbabwean to win the belt.
His Zambian competitor, Kamota, who is commonly known as “Computer”, has won seven, drawn one and lost two of his fights since 2007.
Other supporting bouts will see former African champion Tineyi Maridzo taking on Edmos Takawira in an eight-round light heavyweight category.
WBU Bantamweight World Championship Title Bout:
Tapiwa Tembo (Zimbabwe) vs Gibon Kamota (Zambia) — 12 rounds
Female International Supporting Bouts:
Featherweight: Patience Mastara (Zimbabwe vs Maggie Lingililani (Zambia) — eight rounds
Male Local Supporting Bouts:
Lightheavyweight: Tineyi Maridzo (Zimbabwe) vs Edmos Takawira (Zimbabwe) — eight rounds
Light heavyweight: Wesley McDade (Zimbabwe) vs Nowell Mpofu (Zimbabwe) — six rounds
Light middleweight: Nicola Mutonhora (Zimbabwe) vs Silas Mandeya (Zimbabwe) — six rounds
Lightweight: Last Magaret (Zimbabwe) vs Trymore Musira (Zimbabwe) — six rounds
Bantamweight: Tinashe Mwadziwane (Zimbabwe) vs Anyway Katunga (Zimbabwe) — six rounds.