HARARE – Zimbabwe’s pugilist Tapiwa Tembo has been left shattered after his four months of training ended in heartbreak before he had even thrown a single punch in the ring.
Tembo had been scheduled to trade leather with Zambia’s Gibon Kamota over 12 rounds for the World Boxing Union (WBU) bantamweight world title fight last night.
But the fight was called off by the Zimbabwe National Boxing Control Board after organisers of the event; Delta Force Boxing Promotions flouted the rules that govern every fight that is hosted in the country.
Delta Force failed to provide the boxers’ purse money as well as the contracts between the fighters and the promoters.
The cancellation of the fight not only threw into the fire Zimbabwe’s hopes of hosting its first world title fight but it has left 23-year-old Tembo devastated.
“It’s very bad, I have been training very hard for this,” said Tembo, who immediately returned to his South African base after the development.
Tembo had shaded off close to eight kilograms of the 60kg he weighed back in July to be able to make the 53, 39kg cut for the world title bantamweight fight.
“I was ready to do it and last minute they cancel,” Tembo explained. “The boxing board and promoter should have worked together but somehow that did not happen.
“Someone has to bring the promoters and the board to work together and do the job right for local boxers.
“All us boxers want to do is to fight in the ring. This was our biggest chance. We have never had a world champion before. I’m really hurt. In the end its Zimbabwe’s name that is being soiled, it’s bad.
“They have to sort out their differences so that we can come and show our talent to the rest of the world.
“The Little Phoenix” said he was hurt that he was pursing his talent in a foreign country rather than his own.
“I’m always fighting in South Africa; it’s like I’m uplifting boxing in a foreign country,” a disappointed Tembo said.
“My biggest wish is to fight in front of my own home fans. But things have turned out in a way I never expected.”
Asked if he will consider representing Zimbabwe again if another opportunity presents itself he said: “When I am sure things are well organised and the fight is on. I will come and represent my country anytime.”