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Zim gears up for Mandela Cup

Zim gears up for Mandela Cup

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

THE Zimbabwean boxing team is gearing up for the inaugural Mandela African Cup set for Durban, South Africa from the 15th to the 21st of this month.

The Victoria Falls Boxing Academy is hosting the twelve national boxers who are preparing for battle at the upcoming Mandela Cup in South Africa.

The team which has three female pugilists is expected to leave for Durban on Saturday.

“As team Zimbabwe, we are training hard and we promise to bring gold medals back home, we appreciate what our coaches are taking us through here,” said one of the boxers.

Team captain and the coaches are equally confident of their chances.

“The training is going on smoothly, we are learning the ropes and our coaches are doing a great job, this gives us confidence ahead of the tournament in Durban,” said team captain, Luckymore Kamoto.

“The performance of boxers here is encouraging, they should be in a position to bring medals home. We are doing our best to make them ready for the tournament,” head coach, Alexander Kwangwari weighed in.

“We are honoured to host the boxers, we want to ensure that they prepare themselves well and avoid a situation of just meeting without training. This has affected performance at tournaments in the past. We age all to support us in every way possible,” Victoria Falls Boxing Academy director, Tobias Mupfuti said.

The Mandela African Boxing Cup has received interest from over 360 boxers representing 41 countries.

According to the International Boxing Association (IBA) the tournament was named after former South African President Nelson Mandela in honour of his role in promoting the sport.

When he was incarcerated as a political prisoner during apartheid South Africa, Mandela took up boxing for self-discipline and for the sake of his mental health, calling the sport “egalitarian”, due to its ability to transcend race, religion, or wealth.

The competition, organised by International Boxing Association, the African Boxing Confederation and the South African Boxing Organisation, will feature twelve weight categories for women and thirteen for men.