Boxing is rapidly becoming a major sport in Africa. For many years boxers of African?
Boxing is rapidly becoming a major sport in Africa. For many years boxers of African descent have dominated the would championships in many classes. But its only very recently that Africa itself has become recognised as a potential source of first-class fighters.
More and more European boxers are going on tour in Africa and the first World Congress of The International Amateur Boxing Association to be held on the African continent was held in Dar Es Salaam last month.
The latest boxing team to visit an African country come from the Soviet Union, which sent a team to meet Zambian boxers in an amateur tournament. The tournament opened in Lusaka on Sunday (20 October) and will end in Livingstone on Monday week (28 October).
On Sunday, the Soviet and Zambian boxers met in five bouts. The Soviet boxers won four of the bouts but only after a hard struggle. The Zambian boxers were not over-awed by the bigger Soviet boxers -- including three of the best in the Soviet Union: Valdimir Kharchenko (1973 National Lightweight Champion), Valdimir Yudin (runner-up in the 1974 National Junior Welterweight Championships) and Junior Welterweight Champion Alex Jouravles. Yudin lost his bout to the Zambian boxer Chisanga Mutti.
SYNOPSIS: Boxers from the Soviet Union are meeting Zambian boxers in a series of Amateur boxing contests held in Zambia from October the twentieth to the twenty-eighth. The first tournament was held in Lusaka on Sunday. Boxing is a popular sport in African
The Soviet boxers were more heavily-built than the Zambians. But -- in this contest between Andrew Katebe of Zambia and Vasily Plakushi of the Soviet Union -- Katabe had the advantage of a longer reach.
Plakushi moved fast and confidently and used his fists hard and systematically to blast his way through Katabe's defence. Katebe tried to make use of his greater height and longer reach...but he took a lot of punishment in doing so. The fight was very even through all three rounds and the referee gave the match to Plakushi on a split-points decision.
The Lightweight contest was to great interest to the spectators. They saw the 1973 Soviet Lightweight Champion Valdimir Kharchenko giving an impressive demonstration of controlled power as he dealt with Zambian boxer Luke Mphendo.
Mphendo tried to use his long reach, but found himself on the receiving end of very fast jabs and down on the canvas several times.
Boxing attracts a growing number of fans in Africa and is rapidly gaining in popularity. Although badly outclassed, Mphendo continued to fight on gamely. Kharchenko won the match by a knockout.
A very exciting match was the one between Chisange Mutti and Valdimir Yudin. Yudin was runner-up in the 1974 Soviet Junior Welterweight Championships. This match showed how much African boxers have improved in recent years.
This was a very evenly-fought match with the African boxer displaying a great deal of skill and tactical sense. Yudin was fast on his feet.
Yudin tried to make use of his better build and strength to deal with the build and strength to deal with the fast-moving Mutti, but found the Zambian boxer too skilfull for him. Mutti won the match on a unanimous points verdict.