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Zimbabwe braces for historic Mayweather visit

by Staff reporter
09 Jul 2023 at 10:27hrs | Views
DURING a visit to Nigeria on May 9, 2022, American boxing icon Floyd "Money" Mayweather announced his grand plan to promote the sport in Africa.

It was a historic trip, as the retired boxer rarely visits the continent.  He has previously visited Egypt and Morocco. "It's all about giving back," he told the media in Nigeria.

"We are working on Mayweather boxing gyms in Nigeria. We want to also build boxing camps for the young, youth and children coming up.  "We are going to continue to work together and hopefully someday we can find the next Floyd Mayweather from Nigeria."  Mayweather, who retired with a glorious 50-0 record in July 2017, is one of the most popular boxing personalities in the world, with over 29 million followers on Instagram.

Although he rarely visits Africa, Mayweather is set for another historic tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

He arrives in Harare on Wednesday, courtesy of TMT Africa and local firm Better Brands, which is owned by sports enthusiast and aspiring National Assembly member Scott Sakupwanya.

Sakupwanya and Mayweather met in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Event manager Tapiwa Makoti is convinced that the multi-millionaire's visit will cement Zimbabwe's position as a leading and safe tourist destination.

"TMT Africa will be hosting the undefeated world boxing champion Floyd ‘Money' Mayweather from the 13th to the 14th of July 2023 as part of his ‘Motherland tour'," Makoti said.

Mayweather will spend three days in Zimbabwe before departing for South Africa.

He will visit Mabvuku suburb, where he will interact with residents.

He will also officially hand over a boxing ring to the Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board, which was donated by Better Brands Jewellery.

"The trip to Mabvuku will entail an open workout by Floyd Mayweather.

"In addition, a dinner will be hosted in honour of Mayweather at the Meikles Hotel in Harare on Thursday, where Floyd Mayweather will speak in his capacity as a successful entrepreneur regarding his multi-million-dollar enterprises and opportunities that arise in business and boxing," revealed Makoti.

The visit has excited boxing enthusiasts in Southern Africa, with Namibian promoter Nestor Tobias of MTC Sunshine Boxing and Fitness Academy describing the tour as "a blessing" for Zimbabwe.

"It's one big visit that will put the country on the world map. Mayweather has millions of followers and they will obviously turn their focus on Zimbabwe during this visit, which is good for the country," Tobias told The Sunday Mail Sport from his base in Namibia.

There are expectations Mayweather's visit could have a huge impact on local boxing, as the American might also announce some projects for the country, just like he did in Nigeria last year.  Tobias will also be in Zimbabwe this week, ahead of the Pound-for-Pound boxing tournament to be held in Harare on Friday.

The bill has been organised by Delta Force Boxing Academy in conjunction with MTC Sunshine Boxing and Fitness Academy.

And the expectation is that Mayweather, who leaves Harare on Saturday, will also attend the Pound- for-Pound event.

"Zimbabwean boxing has always been on top, from the 1980s and 1990s, when they used to have Commonwealth champions.

"The country has been affected by sanctions, which have caused an economic downturn, but thumbs up to Zimbabwean promoters like (Clyde) Musonda for trying their best to keep the sport afloat.

"The future is bright for Zimbabwe, but there is need to attract more corporates," added Tobias.

His promotion has five pugilists, including Sabastianus Nathanael, who is fighting former World Boxing Organisation Africa lightweight champion Peter Pambeni in the main supporting bout.

The main bout will be a national featherweight title contest between Ndodana Ncube of Delta Force Boxing Academy and Aliya Phiri of Otto Boxing Club.

Female boxer Revai Madondo squares up against Mphatso Metaudzu of Malawi in a six-round bout.

Madondo will use the fight to prepare for her upcoming international title contest, which, according to Musonda, could be a shot at a WBC belt.  "We are expecting some good contests during this Pound-for-Pound tournament," said Musonda.

"It has been a long time since we last held a local boxing tournament and we are urging boxing fans to come in their numbers.

"It's also exciting that we are holding this event in a week when the iconic Mayweather will be in the country.

"We believe his visit will change the face of local boxing.

"It is our desire to have Mayweather at the Pound-for-Pound boxing night," added Musonda.

Source - The Sunday Mail