ZIMBABWE boxing team coach Mphilisi Moyo expressed disappointment after only one out of five local competitors in the preliminary round qualified for the quarter-finals of the boxing competition on day one of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games on Saturday.
“We won one out of five bouts. I don’t know how Spenser lost the fight. Maybe they are trying to cut down the number of boxers progressing to the next round,” Moyo said at the Large City Hall.
“We hope for the best in the next round. We need to get medals for Zimbabwe. We have four other boxers who got a bye and are now in the semi-finals. From the five we hope that we would be able to win medals,” he said.
Ndodana Ncube from Matabeleland North was the only local to emerge victorious in his bout on a tough day for Zimbabwe, after beating Abram Kamogelo Radebe from South Africa on points in a light flyweight division bout.
The South African boxer was almost floored twice in the first round as Ncube threw a flurry of punches.
In the second round, Ncube continued from where he left off in the first round as his punches eventually brought down the South African pugilist.
Radebe tried to come back in the third round using support from South African officials, but the Zimbabwean boxer shielded and ducked.
Ncube was declared winner on a split points decision (2-1) much to the disappointment of the South Africans.
“The fight was OK. The reason why I beat my opponent is because I threw a lot of punches. I am very happy.
“I am now looking forward to my next fight,” Ncube said soon after the fight.
In other bouts, Manoel Fransisco Gomes from Angola beat Dignity Ncube from Zimbabwe on points in a bantamweight division contest, while another local, Spencer Mhuruyengwe, lost on points to Alino Massamba in a lightweight bout.
There was no joy for other local boxers with Samson Masiyambumbi losing to Nkumbu Silungwe on points in a lightweight fight while Lancelot Moyo lost on points to Snamiso Ntuli in a welterweight division bout.
In other results, Teboho Masiu from Lesotho beat Menez Herlander from Angola in a light flyweight bout. Otukile Mahommed from Botswana got the better of Matias Nhampigane from Mozambique on points in a light-flyweight contest while Ogaketse Kutlwano from Botswana beat Cedrick Hlungwane from South Africa in a flyweight category fight.
Hlungwane was cornered in the first round although he tried a few uppercuts in the first and second rounds respectively, but the Botswana boxer seemed determined to win as he kept throwing solid punches.
When the results were announced the South African boxer broke down in tears.
The semi-finals of the competition are on this afternoon at the Large City Hall. Saturday’s matches were watched by top Zambian female boxer Esther Phiri, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Temba Mliswa and former Zimbabwe middleweight boxing champion Ambrose Mlilo, among other dignitaries in the VIP stand.