Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
SOUTH African-based Zimbabwean heavyweight boxer Elvis Moyo has pleaded with the corporate world to support local boxing and help talented pugilists realise their dreams.
Moyo believes lack of corporate backing continues to stifle boxing development, with talented pugilists being lost to the sport.
Moyo, a former World Boxing Federation (WBF) Africa heavyweight champion, had to leave for South Africa in 2010 to further his career after realising that his boxing would suffer due to lack of sponsorship.
Popularly known as the Bulawayo Bomber, Moyo said he is saddened that talented boxers like former World Boxing Association (WBA) Pan-Africa heavyweight champion Thamsanqa Dube failed to get “meaningful earnings” despite putting the country on the world boxing map after beating Jake Els in 2009 to lift the continental title.
He also lamented loss of boxers like the former Tshaka Youth Centre pair of Ntando Sibanda, a flyweight division boxer, as well as ex-Zimbabwe National Youth Games champion Meluleki Ngulube, who quit the sport because of lack of support.
The duo was among Zimbabwe’s bright prospects before they were lost to boxing a couple of years ago.
Sibanda moved to South Africa, while Ngulube is now doing menial jobs in Bulawayo to make ends meet.
“Boxing, just like soccer is a viable sport industry that needs support. If our boxers do well on the international stage, it will be easy to groom upcoming stars and get more sponsors.
What has been happening now is each man for himself. One has to find his way and stay there to try and survive. The corporate world needs to support boxing so that talented boxers are not lost to the sport. There are a number of boxers that can win medals for Zimbabwe on the world stage, but they need support,” Moyo said.