Female boxing sensation Catherine Phiri has showered praise on the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone-Six Youth Games Zambian winning boxers for winning six medals.
Phiri said the boxers should be commended for putting up a top class performance which won them six medals, from which three were gold, two silver and a bronze, but was quick to caution the boxers of the hard work required to be on top.
The World Professional Boxing Federation (WPBF) bantamweight champion said in an interview in Lusaka that once on top, the boxers must realise everyone would want to fight them and defeat them and should always find ways of overcoming their opponents.
She said that boxers, especially those who lost out during the games, would always want to prove a point whenever fighting a Zambian boxer adding that the key would be for the boxers to stay on top of the game.
"The boxers' performance at the Zone-Six Youth Games was very good. The boxers were skilful and tactical but they must know that now that they are on top, they have to work even harder. Everyone will want to beat them so they have to continue improving," she said.
Zambia went into the Zone Six Under-20 Games with seven boxers, six of whom won medals at the tournament with three being gold and two silver while the other was a bronze and came out overall winners from the 10 countries that took part in the games.
The 20-year-old Phiri said that watching the youth games taught her a lot of new things about boxing in respect to the two contrasting style of fighting found in amateur and professional ranks.
"As you know amateur boxing has a lot of speed in it considering they fight just three rounds and one has to win clearly in these three while professional goes up to 12 rounds and is like a marathon.
So you have to mix these two factors well as a professional since you have to score a lot throughout and not get tired, I picked up a few things that I will have to work on in the gym," she said.
She said that the way the Zambian boxers fought showed that theywere well outgoing which meant they were open to new ideas and ready to improve on their performance in the amateur career.
Zambia Under-20 coach Kennedy Kanyanta said after the tournament that his boxers were faced with the first real international test and excelled though there was more that needed to be done about them to make them world beaters.
He said the 2014 Commonwealth Games were a target for his boys who would have to be put on a progressive development programme to see them reap medals Club Games to be staged in the Scottish capital of Glasgow.