By Skilder Makona
Former Zimbabwe amateur boxing champion, Johannes John has called on stakeholders to take drastic measures to develop the game.
John noted that the game will continue to sink if no radical measures are taken.
The Mbare born and bred 52-year-old believes that lack of grassroots development programmes has stalled the growth of the sport.
“The sport of boxing has suffered greatly due to unforeseen circumstances ranging from financial crisis to planning itself. I believe there must be proper grassroots development structures to promote youngsters so that the game reaches its climax. The country has abundant talent and it needs to be nurtured and harnessed at a young age.”
John also called on the corporate world to support the game as it is also another way of taking youths out of the streets.
“My vision is to see boxing spreading across all provinces but this can only be achieved if all stakeholders come together and support the game for it to grow. The sport brings discipline and it is another way of taking youths off drugs and streets since they will be the opportunity of honing their skills in various centres across the country.”
The Mbare-based coach nurtured many boxers in Zimbabwe including former Commonwealth light flyweight champion Alfonso Zvenyika “Mosquito” Lambarda and the first Zimbabwean female professional boxer to win the Women’s International Boxing Association title in 2005, Monalisa Sibanda.