- Published on Tuesday, 03 September 2013 01:06
- Written by JIMMY LWANGILI
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DAR ES SALAAM Special Zone police are holding boxing promoter Jay Msangi for interrogation regarding his failure to settle 8,000 US dollars (about 13m/-) on time to boxers Francis Cheka and American Phil Williams during their weekend’s fight.
Cheka outpunched Williams on point to win the World Boxing Federation (WBF) super middleweight world title in Dar es Salaam on Friday night. The WBF sanctioned title fight was orgsanised by Hall of Fame Boxing & Promotions (HOF), based out of Canton, Ohio, US in collaboration with the Tanzania Professional Boxing Association (TPBA).
However, the event could not go smoothly as almost all local boxers went on strike over allegations of un-cleared payments, whereby the audience had to wait for almost an hour while promoters were sorting out the problem.
In a quick turn of events, Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Fenella Mukangara, who was the chief guest, was also forced to intervene to rescue the situation.
Local boxing lovers and pundits described the situation as an embarrassment for Tanzania and called for the government to restrict “bogus” promoters from organizing such events in the country.
Speaking to journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Commissioner of Police Suleiman Kova, who is also boxing patron, said that the controversy surrounding the “Title Night in Tanzania” has degraded and tarnished the name of the country and they will take legal action against the culprits.
“If you can not fulfill your obligation why call yourself an international promoter?” he queried. “The saga has degraded and undermined the country.” Commander Kova said they are investigating the matter and will take legal action against anyone who will be implicated in the saga.
He also advised boxers who want to fight to involve lawyers when engaging with promoters to avoid unnecessary inconveniences. In addition, he cautioned boxers to demand written contracts, specifically those related to payments, and sign them before they step into the ring.
“A boxer should know details of the contract and understand them before the bout. This is because most boxers are ignorant and don’t know their rights,” said Kova. Homeboy Cheka was crowned WBF super middleweight champion after overcoming the American Williams at the Diamond Jubilee Hall last Friday.
Fans had plenty of fun as both boxers displayed impressive skills, and it was difficult to predict the winner in the opening rounds. The Morogoro-based pugilist was carried shoulder high after the entertaining bout that was graced by Tanzania Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Fenella Mukangara and other dignitaries.
Cheka beat Williams on points in the 12-round bout. His victory drew cheers from the excited boxing fans and sports officials at the hall, which was packed to capacity.
The three judges -- Eddie Marshal from South Africa and Tanzanians John Chagu and Fidel Hynes -- scored 116-113, 109-108 and 117-111 in the Tanzanian boxer’s favour, inflicting Williams’ first defeat in as many fights.
Mukangara said Cheka’s victory has restored the nation’s pride and positioned the country in its rightful place as one of Africa’s boxing powerhouses. She noted that Cheka displayed a high level of commitment and dedication. “His world title, which is coming after a number of years, is an indication of a better future for the country,” the minister said.