HARARE – Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire received a significant payday early Saturday, after defending her World Boxing Council super-bantamweight interim title.
Chiwandire defeated Mexican challenger Zulina Munoz at the Harare International Conference Centre following a unanimous judges’ decision win after dominating Munoz over 10-rounds. All three judges scored the fight 96-92, 98-89 and 100-86 in favour of the Zimbabwean.
The 27-year-old fought to retain her title after an emotionally draining couple of months which saw the bout postponed three times due to financial constraints.
The WBC agreed to postpone the fight a final time after high-level interventions, with Government availing some US$50,000 in support. President Emmerson Mnangagwa had come under heavy pressure to fund the fight, having promised support in August, after the promoter failed to meet his obligations.
But that did not appear to faze the 27-year-old boxer who came out guns blazing from the sound of the first bell. She knocked down her opponent in the fourth and fifth rounds enroute to winning by a unanimous decision.
She saluted Government for providing the financial support that made the bout a reality.
“I would like to salute the Government for the role they played in making sure that I got this opportunity to defend my belt,” said Chiwandire.
“I am very happy and excited that I got all the support from all Zimbabweans. This belt is for all of us.
“I should admit that this fight was very tough, Munoz is not an easy opponent, but I did everything to try and subdue her.
“She has the strength and tact to stand firm and I am happy I managed to win.”Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Tino Machakaire saluted Chiwandire for retaining the title.
“It’s not easy to defend a belt of such magnitude. As Government, we are proud to have such a talent in this country,” said Machakaire.
“She has the talent and stamina. She deserves all the honours and I am calling upon all Zimbabweans to support her in whatever means possible.”
Machakaire, in his own capacity pledged US$20,000 for Chiwandire.
That means the former karateka is now US$40,000 richer given the purse money was also US$20,000.
Zororo Phumulani also pledged a winning bonus of US$1,000 for the pugilist.