Malawi Defence Force boxer Ruth Chisale bounced back into the ring in fine fashion to lift the World Boxing Forum (WBF) International welterweight belt after beating Grace Mwakamele of Tanzania on unanimous decision on Sunday, Christmas Box.
Chisale has been out of action for almost two years, but she easily dominated the Tanzanian to win the belt.
She has emulated inactive boxer Agnes Mtimaukanena, who also won the belt after defeating Susan Andeso of Kenya in 2012.
Chisale, who has improved her record to 10 wins including six knockouts and a defeat, said it was a good starting point in her quest to win top belts.
“The WBF belt is one of the celebrated ones in the region. If I had lost, it would have been bad for my career. Now I can rework on my confidence as I push for more belts,” said Chisale, who was accompanied by matchmaker Stephen Mawenzi Msiska.
In another fight, Salimu Chazama suffered a third round technical knockout to Jima Choki.
The non-title lightweight contest was slated for eight rounds but Chazama failed to beat a 10-seconds count to lose the battle.
Chazama, an MDF soldier, blamed the loss on change of opponents few days before the contest.
“They changed my opponents twice and this greatly affected my performance. I was meant to fight Francis Muhesho but he declined and I was later given another opponent Ibrahim Class who also declined. They gave me Juma Choki at the 11th hour, something that I could not cope up with hence the loss,” Chazama said.
The MDF soldier has promised to bounce back strongly.
“I will go back to my basics and rework on my shortfalls. I will surely bounce back,” Chazama said.
According to boxrec.com, Chazama, 27, has dropped his record to 13 wins, six defeats and two wins.
It was a bad outing for Malawian male boxers as South Africa-based pugilist Dennis Mwale also lost on points to Ishmail Galiatano in a non-title fight.
Mwale’s record has dropped to eight wins and a defeat.
Meanwhile, Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board General Secretary Jonny Palichese has described Chisale’s victory as a timely gift to Malawians during the festive season.
“Ruth is a good boxer and winning a belt in a foreign land on points means a lot. It is a clear indication that she dominated the contest,” he said.
Palichese said male boxers should also be encouraged to perform better.
In recent years, Anisha Basheel, who is also an MDF soldier, won the African Boxing Union and Commonwealth super lightweight belts.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.