Another appointment for Mukondiwa

HARARE - Local judge and referee Patrick Mukondiwa’s CV continues to glitter after he was recently appointed to be one of the three officials for an upcoming International Boxing Organisation (IBO) bout.

Mukondiwa will be a judge for the upcoming IBO cruiserweight world title fight between South Africa’s Kevin Lerena against Congolese-French boxer Youri Kalenga at the Emperor’s Palace in Gauteng on September 9.

The Zimbabwean boxing official was South Africa last May where he was a judge during the IBO Junior Bantamweight world title fight between Gedion Buthelezi and Angel Alves of Mexico.

That same month, the former Zimbabwe Boxing Board of Control secretary, travelled to South Africa again to officiate at the IBO world flyweight title fight between South African Moruthi Mthalane against Genesis Libranza of the Philippines.

Mukondiwa recently told the Daily News that he is proud to remain relevant on the global stage when the sport of boxing is on its knees in Zimbabwe.

“As you might know the IBO is one of the biggest bodies in boxing at the moment; as you might know; the recently crowned world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua of England is an IBO champion,” Mukondiwa told the Daily News.

“Even Manny Pacquiao is a former IBO champion, even our own local champion Charles Manyuchi is also rated by the IBO so this is a big deal for me to represent the country at such enormous tournaments.

“It’s good for me, it’s good for the country and it’s also good for local boxing because it shows that we do not only have good boxers in Zimbabwe but there are also officials that are off international standard.”

Meanwhile, Lerena’s stable Golden Gloves are pleased their fighter has finally secured an opponent after their previous two potential opponents pulled out of the bout.

Initially, the 25-year-old South African, who has a record 18-1, was scheduled to fight Russian Max Maslov for the vacant IBO cruiserweight title this weekend.

However, Maslov pulled out of the bout under unclear circumstances forcing Golden Gloves to find another opponent.

The promoters ended up settling for US-based Nigerian Olanrewaju Durodola but just like Maslov, the Nigerian also withdrew from the fight.

Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman believes the difficulty in nailing down an opponent for his fighter is clear testimony that Lerena is a threat to many.

“We always underestimate our own, and Lerena is a perfect case in point,” Berman told South African media.

“Maslov was a highly respected fighter who pulled out with a lame excuse. And Durodola, highly ranked by all the organisations, pulled out too, again with a pathetic reason and despite a top purse on the table.

“Durodola, perceived to be so dangerous, was another one. These are but three of many fighters who presumably perceive him as a threat.”   

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