ZAMBIAN boxers yesterday turned on the heat at the on-going 2012 Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Under-20 Games winning seven of the eight bouts to keep alive hopes of a gold medal sweep.
The only boxer with a blemish in the Zambian camp was Obedy Mutapa, who lost via disqualification after landing below the belt punch on Shiba Khuleka from Swaziland in the first round of this bantamweight bout.
Otherwise, it was all systems go with lightweight Lawrence Mukuta being the star in the team after winning via a first round stoppage over Lesotho's Lebotsa Ramabilikoe after his exhilarating speed and skill forced referee to stop the contest to save his opponent from further punishment.
In a light flyweight contest, Zambia's Caristo Bwalya took a tight 15-13 points decision over Namibia's Luben Kandiba with Immanuel Kweba following up Zambia's party with a similarly tight points decision win over Kekana Mzwandile of Swaziland with a 12-11 score in a flyweight contest.
While the other two Zambians took tight points decision, middleweight Mbachi Kaonga was in a different mood as he out-classed Botswana's Kennethg Okwaleng and Charles Lumbwe, beaten on Sunday, came out guns blazing to redeem himself and decimated his bigger looking Ramokoena Teboho of Lesotho to take an 18-8 decision.
Ben Sakutamba survived two knockdowns in the second round and had to look to the huge point's gap he created in the first round and the better showing in the third to win a tight bout with a 15-12 decision which left his Namibian opponent Max Ipuleni Ipinge to weep openly in protest against the judges' decision.
In a late fight where Kweba was hoping to shake off the tight decision he won, his opponent Matheus Kasolo decided to go to the scale almost two kilogrammes overweight and was disqualified.
And after South Africa started on a high with three straight wins, the technical bench saw their luck plummet and watched in anguish as their next three boxers were battered with one e nding in a second round stoppage due to excessive blood loss.
In one of those losing fights for South African and which ended with a bloody nose, the Zambian team celebrated as the vanquished Richard de Silva had a day earlier defeated Zambia's Lumbwe in a tight 7-6 score and was the stumbling block to the Zambian gold medal pursuit.
"At the rate things are going, I may have to reset my medal target; I may want to change the colours of the medals from four gold medals to five. The boys are doing well I am sure this will go on," boxing team coach Kennedy Kanyanta said.