TO the surprise of many boxing enthusiasts, former WBC world champion Catherine Phiri on Saturday night knocked out her opponent Asandiswa Nxoswana barely a minute into the second round of the international friendly bout at Lusaka’s Government Complex.
Before the crowd could familiarise itself with the two boxers’ exchange of blows, Asandiswa had already called it quits after being sent to the canvas.
This was shortly after the beginning of the second round.
And Catherine has declared herself ready for the title fight against WBC super-bantam weight champion Fatuma Zarika of Kenya.
She said despite the height disadvantage she had in the bout, she opted to go for her opponent’s body instead of head shots.
“It was tough for me because she was taller than me but I went for body punches and it is done. I now look forward to the Kenyan fight. I am ready for that fight. I looked at this fight as a build up to the title challenge and I can safely say that I am ready for it,” said Catherine.
But Asandiswa said she decided to throw in the towel because of a shoulder injury.
She vowed to challenge Catherine once she was well enough.
“My shoulder injury recurred. I know Catherine, but just that my shoulder couldn’t take it. I am going back and when I’m well, I will talk to my coach about challenging again but for now, I have to get well,” said Asandiswa.
Meanwhile, event organisers, Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions operations manager Christopher Malunga said it was high time the government recognised the achievements of boxing and help the sport.
“We are going far as a country in boxing and it is high time the government looked at boxing and appreciated our efforts. We need support just as much as football is supported,” said Malunga.
In other bouts of the night, Ibrahim Muwowo knocked out his Tanzanian opponent Haji Juma in the third round; Davy Mwale defeated his Zimbabwean opponent Wiseman Chuma on points while Loreta Muzeya knocked out her Zimbabwean opponent Emely Kubwayo in the second round.