HARARE — Zimbabwean boxer Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire received a significant payday of at least US$40,000 early Saturday after defending his interim World Boxing Council super bantamweight title.
Chiwandire defeated Mexican challenger Zulina Munoz at the Harare International Conference Center following a unanimous judges victory after dominating Munoz in 10 rounds.
The three judges scored the bout 96-92, 98-89 and 100-86 in favor of the Zimbabwean.
The 27-year-old fought to retain her title after an emotionally draining few months in which the fight was postponed three times due to financial constraints.
The WBC agreed to postpone the fight one last time after high-profile interventions, with the government providing support of around $50,000.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa had come under heavy pressure to fund the fight, having pledged support in August, after the promoter failed to meet his obligations.
But that didn’t seem to faze the 27-year-old boxer who pulled out the guns at the sound of the first bell.
Chiwandire knocked down her opponent in the fourth and fifth rounds en route to the unanimous decision victory.
She praised the government for providing the financial support that made the fight a reality.
“I would like to salute the Government for the role they played in making sure that I got this opportunity to defend my belt,” said Chiwandire.
“I am very happy and excited that I got all the support from all Zimbabweans. This belt is for all of us.
“I should admit that this fight was very tough, Munoz is not an easy opponent, but I did everything to try and subdue her.
“She has the strength and tact to stand firm and I am happy I managed to win.”
Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Tino Machakaire saluted Chiwandire for retaining the title.
“It’s not easy to defend a belt of such magnitude. As Government, we are proud to have such a talent in this country,” said Machakaire.
“She has the talent and stamina. She deserves all the honours and I am calling upon all Zimbabweans to support her in whatever means possible.”
Machakaire, in his own capacity pledged US$20,000 for Chiwandire.
That means the former karateka is now US$40,000 richer given the purse money was also US$20,000.
Zororo Phumulani also pledged a winning bonus of US$1,000 for the pugilist.
— Editor/ additional report by Kukurigo