19 December 2013

Zambia: Chingangu Wants to Fight Klitschko

JOSEPH 'No Pressure' Chingangu has said beating Francis 'Galagata' Zulu for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) Intercontinental belt would provide an opportunity to challenge heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko.

Chingangu, himself a former IBF world heavyweight champion, said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that he will stop at nothing in ensuring that he grabs the belt from the Ukrainian giant, whom he has faced before.

But before that, Chingangu has to first grab the vacant IBF Intercontinental which he will have a shot at in February next year against Zulu in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital of Dubai. "I need that belt and I am coming after you. This is a message for Wladimir Klitschko, I need that belt back. I won it in the ring and I lost it unfairly outside the ring.

I know I have lost to Wladimir once before but I am fighting well and I don't see how I can lose. He has been beating a lot of weak opponents and its time he faced up with a real boxer," he said.

Chingangu fought Wladimir, the younger of the two dominant Klitschko boxing brothers, in a World Boxing Organisation (WBO) eliminator in Germany in 1998 and lost the bout on a technical knockout in the fifth round.

"That time, Wladimir was knocking out everybody, I was not knocked out nor was I sent to the canvas, I had a cut above my left eye and the doctors came to my corner and told me I couldn't fight anymore. That is how his brother (Vitali) also controversially lost to Lennox Lewis, I still have unfinished business with him," Chingangu said.

Chingangu is arguably Zambia's most accomplished boxer and remains the only one to grab a significant world title belt, while Lottie Mwale had an African and Commonwealth title but lost the World Boxing Council (WBC) title bout to Saad Mohammed.

The 47-year-old Chingangu holds a record of 26 wins, 22 coming by way of knock-out and has eight losses, four of them to boxers who have gone on to be World champions.

When asked why he was setting his eyes too far when his immediate problem was Zulu, Chingangu said he was under-rating no one.

"I have fought 'Galagata' before and I know he is dangerous and that is why I am preparing very hard for this. He is a former champion and in boxing, then you know you are up against a tough opponent. He has great ability and I am preparing very well for him," he said.

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