24 November 2012

Zambia: Hats Off to Kanyanta and Co

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BEFORE I get to the gist of this week's topic, let me briefly comment on two fights on the international scene staged this past weekend.

They were the World Boxing Council (WBC) light weight title fight between former champion Mexican Antonio DeMarco (28-3-1, 21 Kos) and rising American superstar undefeated Adrien "The Problem" Broner (25-0, 21 Kos), staged at the Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, in the United States, and the IBF super middleweight title defence between champion Carl "The Cobra" Froch and Yusaf Mack, at the Capital FM Arena, in Nottinghamshire, England.

Thanks to Multi-choice, both these fights were screened live. Smarting from another impressive win last May when he was underdog against Lucian Bute, whom he destroyed in five rounds, Froch produced yet another great performance and defended his title by stopping his American foe in three short rounds after chasing him around the ring for a little over 10 minutes.

But the fight of the weekend, for me, was Broner-DeMarco in which the American dethroned the champion via an eighth round technical knock out in what was no doubt a stellar performance. Broner lived up to his moniker and made it extremely difficult for DeMarco to solve "The Problem" throughout the fight.

It was a fight in which Broner, who fights from an orthodox stance, was a perfect replica in style of WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr, with a flawless tight defence whose hallmarks are the shoulder-roll, precision punching, uppercuts and quick jabs and right crosses.

It was truly an enthralling boxing clinic worth watching several times over without getting bored. It's said that the best way to pay tribute to a man is to emulate him. This is exactly what Broner is doing.

His role model is Floyd and the way he respects and emulates his compatriot, left no doubt in my mind that when Floyd steps aside in future, he has a perfect replacement in Broner. There were times when I thought it was Floyd and not Broner I was watching.

Back home, the Zambia Under-20 boxing squad, overcoming initial logistical setbacks went on to rout their Tanzanian counterparts, defying home ground advantage and proving that if you are good enough, you can win anywhere.

Indeed, the young Zambians won five out of four bouts in a friendly tournament held in Dar es Salaam.

I congratulate Kanyanta and his boys on their wonderful performance and urge them to reproduce their form during the forthcoming Zone Six Games and win gold medals.

The Tanzanian authorities were so impressed with our boxers and their coach Kanyanta whom they wanted to poach to train their squad. I don't know how far this matter has gone, but it surely shows that the Commonwealth gold medalist is made of sterner stuff as far as imparting boxing skills goes, let alone his individual talent in his heyday

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