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WBF champion to defend belt at home

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GLITTERING—Phiri
showcases three belts

Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) President Lonzoe ‘Defector’ Zimba has called for the government and private sector support to enable World Boxing Forum (WBF) light welterweight champion Hannock Phiri to defend his belt at home.

Zimba said they needed to raise between K3 million and K5 million to enable the bout to take place within the-three month stipulated period.

“The amount covers sanctioning fees, purse money for boxers, referees and judges’ allowances, among others. We need K3 million-plus to achieve this. If we get K5 million, we will be home and dry to stage the title fight. It will be sad to vacate the belt without fighting,” he said.

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Zimba said Phiri was now eligible to vie for other belts such as World Boxing Council, having won a WBF belt.

“He is doing well and needs support from every stakeholder to blossom further. He can now vie for the WBC belt and other top belts,” he said.

Phiri said more local boxers were capable of winning international belts if well supported.

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“In most cases we are let down by lack of support. To do well we need a good diet and proper training using good facilities. In my view, my performance has proved that we can do well,” he said.

Phiri also hoped that the State President Lazarus Chakwera would host him at the State House as he did with the Malawi National Football Team when the Flames qualified for 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

The Malawian overcame a swollen eye to stop Jonas Segu with a ninth-round technical knockout at Jamhuli Stadium in Dodoma, Tanzania on Friday.

Phiri sustained an eye injury in the first round following a headbutting incident but he recovered to finish off his opponent in the ninth round.

Local matchmaker Steve ‘Mawenzi’ Msiska said Phiri’s performance was satisfactory as Segu had earlier knocked out one of Malawi’s celebrated boxers Wilson Masamba.

“This is not a mean achievement. This guy [Segu] severely beat up Masamba some years ago to the extent that our boxer fainted. Hannock has done us proud,” he said.

Phiri knocked down Segu in the first round before repeating the feat in the ninth round. Despite beating the count, Segu met a flurry of Phiri’s combinations which left him down time and again prompting the referee to stop the contest.

The win left Tanzanians green with envy and some mocked their boxer.

“We are being beaten by people [a boxer] with one eye,” wrote Kazaura Santos after watching the fight online on Azam TV.

The 23-year-old Malawian pugilist has six wins and a loss whereas Segu, 30, dropped his record to 19 wins, 11 defeats and two draws.

Phiri is also a holder of the Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board National Lightweight belt having defeated Byson Gwayani last year.

He also holds the World Professional Boxing Federation super lightweight champion after outscoring Hillary Kataya at Mulungushi Conference Centre in Lusaka Zambia in 2019.

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