Fairness is the key - Mukondiwa

HARARE - Local boxing judge Patrick Mukondiwa is pretty chuffed after he was nominated for the Technical Official of the Year gong for this year’s Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa).

Mukondiwa will battle it out for the award against Rick Fulton (triathlon) and Joyce Muchenu (basketball) with the winner set to be announced at a banquet to be held in the capital on December 17.

“It feels great to be nominated and it’s an honour for mer. Even though if I lose on the night and I don’t win the award just being nominated is an honour for me,” Mukondiwa tells the Daily News on Sunday.

“It was a great feeling and I was excited when I heard that I had been nominated, though I was expecting it, this was still great news for me.

“I was expecting to be nominated because I have done a lot for boxing in the past year. I have represented the country at many ABU and WBC title fights throughout Africa both as a referee and a judge. I have also assisted local boxers in many ways.”

Judging a boxing match is not as hard at it looks according to Mukondiwa and he said being “fair” is the key ingredient to have a successful career in this profession.

“When I started, my wish was to be able to travel all over the world with boxing and I’m glad that my dream is now coming true,” the 44-year-old said.

“The good thing about refereeing or judging a boxing match is that if you are fair your will have a long and distinguished career.

“If you are not fair you will not go anywhere because at the end of the day all the scorecards will be analysed by our supervisor who is usually the vice or the chairman of the boxing body.

“These people sit on various boards like the Commonwealth and the WBC and they revise these scorecards. So obviously if you are biased the anomaly will be picked up because your scoring will not tally with that of the other two judges.

“They might not ask you about the anomaly but what they might do is freeze your career and you will not be asked to officiate at future fights.”

Boxers are well known for their extravagant lifestyle due to the millions they make in the ring. Just look at Floyd Mayweather’s Instagram feed.

The undefeated five-division world champion posts pictures of expensive wrist watches and top of the range sports cars on a daily basis.

For Mukondiwa, he did not get into the sport for the money but for the love of it. 

“In terms of financial rewards it is fine especially for WBC fights. As for ABU it is also fine but the payment rates are lower than those of WBC,” he says.

“It’s a good profession and just like football referees, they have their day-to-day jobs and only do this as part time.

“I’m, however, doing this for the fun of it. I’ve liked boxing since I was young; this is my passion.”

While the sport is continuing to grow with leaps and bounds across our boarders and worldwide, the Zimbabwean boxing scene is in a comatose.

Local boxers like Charles Manyuchi now have to shift their bases to places like Zambia where they get more recognition and constant title fights.

“The problem we have is that we are not being funded and there are no promoters. The job of the board is not to hold tournaments, but it’s up to the promoters to hold the tournaments and the board is there to regulate,” says Mukondiwa.

“Financially the promoters are struggling and the few companies out there who used to sponsor boxing are no longer keen to part with their money.

“This problem is not unique to boxing alone but most sports are struggling to secure sponsorship. Look at tennis; right now they are struggling to raise money for the Davis Cup team.

“Even our football teams are pulling out of playing in continental club competitions. For our boxers they get paid some good money out there.”

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