8 August 2018

Zimbabwe: Biased Officiating Mars Tourney

Biased officiating marred an otherwise good night of fistfights at the Mau Mau-promoted pro-boxing tournament at Raylton Club last Saturday.

The event was held in honour of the late veteran boxer, Langton "Schoolboy" Tinago, who died two weeks ago and was conferred with provincial hero status.

It started with a minute of silence in remembrance of the iconic boxer.

The bleeps and blunders ranged from a referee who got stuck in decision-making in the middle of a fight, to the denial of victory to an outright winner in the main bout.

The irony of it all was the certification - in the middle of the tournament - of referees and judges who had gone through comprehensive training during the course of the year.

This sad development, however, is not the first such incident and the fact that complaints over the same boxer have been raised, amid allegations of conflict of interest among parties, raises more questions than answers for the local boxing community.

Early in the year, veteran Zambian promoter Anthony Mwamba walked away from Magamba Hall in Warren Park a bitter man after his boxer, Simon Ngoma, was "robbed" of what he and the jury in the audience felt was a deserved win over Peter "Sniper" Pambeni.

This was exactly the same scenario at the just-ended tourney where the match between Pambeni and Philip "Mad Cobra" Musariri was declared a draw much to the chagrin of the dissatisfied full house.

While the first round could easily have been scored as a draw, Musariri dominated all the ensuing five rounds and after the announcement of the verdict, even his opponent (Pambeni) appeared shell-shocked.

Promoter Boris Zneider had no kind words for the officials, accusing them of "killing the sport."

The tournament recorded two TKOs, had one moving into the pro ranks, a females bout and an exhibition fixture that featured cubs Prince Hurengwa from the Victoria Falls Boxing Club against Shaun Pambeni.

He is Peter's second born son.

So thrilled by the young talent were the spectators that they offered the boxers between $70 and $100 to share for their exploits in the drawn match.

Of the total amount, boxing board member Zenzo Nsimbi forked out $50.

Josphat Mufayi, who was making his debut in professional ranks, lost on points to national middleweight champion Enock Musambudzi.

Misheck Kondwani, also known as Sekuru Mbeva, found the going tough in another four-rounder against Misheck Chisina.

Ndodana Ncube forced Stalin Master Kachigwada into submission.

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