BULAWAYO professional boxer Meluleki Ngulube could have his first test on the international scene when he trades leather with Johannes Baluka in a flyweight category non-title fight in Namibia on May 17.
Ngulube was billed to make his debut international appearance in Namibia last year, but the fight was cancelled after the Zimbabwe Wrestling and Boxing Board of Control said no boxer would be cleared for an international bout if they had less than 10 fights.
Other boxers expected to travel to Namibia are Martin Tshuma who will trade leather with Mike Shonena in the welterweight category, Lovewell Maphosa will fight against Sakaria Lukas in the featherweight category while South Africa-based pugilist Ntando Sibanda will fight Japhet Utoni in the flyweight division.
Organiser of the fight, Big Fish Stable’s Mordecai Donga, yesterday said the boxers were supposed to fight in Namibia, but the Zimbabwe Boxing Board of Control is yet to approve.
“We have four boxers who are supposed to fight in Namibia on May 17. However, we are still to get clearance from the Boxing Board of Control. I have been trying to contact the board, but they are not picking up my calls,” he said.
Contacted for comment board chairman Paul Nenjarama said they had communicated with Donga.
There was an outcry in the boxing fraternity last year when the board said they required boxers to have 10 fights before they could be cleared for international bouts.
At the time Nenjerama said they were trying to protect the image of the sport as some of the boxers were hurriedly sent out of the country when they had no track record.
Board secretary Gilbert Munetsi in an interview with this publication later said: “10 fights is a normal requirement in well-functioning boxing bodies like World Boxing Organisation and Africa Boxing Union.
“However, that is not a requirement for a non-title fight. What we do not want is for our boxers to be used as stepping stones by other boxers. We do not want our boxers to be punching bags of other countries,” he said.