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Sports Minister Vows to Revive Boxing in Zimbabwe

Education Minister David Coltart says he is concerned about the current state of the sport of boxing in Zimbabwe.

The minister says he has already met with Sports and Recreation commissioner Charles Nhemachena in an effort to tackle problems faced by the sport.

Coltart said boxing should be revived as it was once one of the top sporting activities in Zimbabwe.

He said the country used to be rated highly in Africa in terms of boxing but this has vanished over the years as the nation has failed during the past few years to produce a single boxer challenging for top continental and international titles.

Zimbabwe, which once had a three-time Commonwealth boxing champion - Langton ‘School Boy’ Tinago and two All-Africa champions Proud ‘Kilimanjaro’ Chinembiri and Stix Mcloud - does not have even one boxer in the top 10 ratings in Africa in any weight division and cannot afford to host any tournament.

In a statement to Studio 7, Coltart said he is in the process of appointing a new Zimbabwe Boxing Board of Control (ZBBC) which the minister believes will be critical in revitalising the sport which is going through a period of gradual decline.

The current board, which is headed by Richard Hondo, has been in office since Zimbabwe’s admission to international sport in 1980 with one or two members being replaced along the way.
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Unlike other sporting disciplines, like football and cricket whose boards are elected by independent bodies, the ZBBC is appointed by the minister.

VOA Studio 7 was unable to get a comment from the current chairman of the board, Richard Hondo.

Renowned promoter Stalin Mau Mau said it is saddening that Zimbabwean boxers are receiving a battering on the international stage due to a number of factors one of which is lack of regular fights.

No boxing tournament was held in Zimbabwe this year.

Mau Mau therefore agrees with Coltart that there is need to reconstitute the current ZBBC and also look at the laws governing the sport in the country.

Former Commonwealth Flyweight champion, Arifonso Zvenyika, said the current state of the sport has driven away sponsors - leaving boxers with no resources.