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Ministers endorse knockout Malaria bill

Ministers of Health and Sports have thrown their full weight behind the forthcoming boxing bill ‘Knockout Malaria’ saying it’s high time different associations started using sports as a vehicle for social and economic change.

Minister of Health Dr Jean Kalilani and Minister of Sports Grace Obama Chiumia, made the calls on Friday evening at Golden Peacock in Lilongwe where No Pain No Gain Boxing Promotions unveiled international belts for the bill set for September 26 in Lilongwe.

Both ministers pledged to support the stable to stage the bill which will attract 11 participating countries.

Kalilani said it was rare for local sport codes to associate themselves with things of national importance.

“I am not a boxing fanatic because of the risk of injury it takes. However, when the stable approached us that they want to use boxing to fight Malaria, they left us with no option but join the wagon,” she said.

Kalilani said despite effort from the government, Malaria remains a major health problem in the country with 7,200 cases per day.

“Take this opportunity to sincerely thank the support from the private sector especially ‘the knockout Malawi boxers for the great cause’ initiative. We would like to urge other partners in the private sector to emulate the gesture done by No Pain No Gain Boxing Promotions,” she said.

On her part, Chiumia said if the September 26 bill was implemented according to plan would boost the game of boxing in Malawi.

“Let me also request the boxing fraternity to ensure that this programme is properly organised and supported. It is also pleasing to note that the tournament will help in the fight against Malaria under the theme of ‘Knockout Malaria Malawi’,” she said.

No Pain No Gain Boxing Promotions managing director, Craig Rousseau, said they were determined to give back to the community.

“It’s a fact that Malaria is killing a lot and we want to use boxing to knockout the disease. With collaborated efforts, I think it is possible,” he said.

Rousseau thanked the ministers, principal secretaries and other government officials for showing interest to support the bill.

Meanwhile, the stable used the colourful function to unveil the pairing.

Local featherweight champion Wilson Masamba will face Brazilian Cid Edson Bispo Ribeiro for the vacant World Boxing Union title.

In the second main fight, former national welterweight Charles Misanjo will take on Maobi Mothiba of Botswana for the World Professional Boxing Federation belt.

Zimbabwean Diana Makumbe will date Chinese boxer Jude while Malawian Duduzile Kamkwamba will entertain Kudakashwe of Zimbabwe.

On the same bill, Malawi’s Limbani Masamba will take on Alpheus Shilongo on Namibia while Zimbabwean Tineyi Maridzo will face Karama Nyilawila of Tanzania.

Tanzanian Ibrahim Class will take on Kaizer Mabuza of South Africa. Malawi’s Alick Gogodo will entertain Zimbabwean Trevor Mpofu.

DR Congo boxer Sherrif Kasongo will meet Zimbabwean Nicola Mutonhora while Tinashe Mwadziwana of Zimbabwean will clash with Berand Mwango of Zambia.

Referees will come from Germany, Tanzania and Zimbabwe while Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board president Lonzoe Zimba would be tournament supervisor.

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