By Gilbert Munetsi
A professional non-title bout for an-up-and-coming pugilist, Taurai Zimunya, ended fatally after the young boxer later succumbed to head injuries sustained in a bantamweight contest.
News of his passing on hit the local boxing community on the social media portal, Boxing Business Contacts, early this morning.
The exact cause of his demise could not immediately be ascertained. But following the ring brawl which had to be called off, he was ferried to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals on oxygen support.
Reports say scans were done at Westend Clinic and Wilkins Hospital to help the doctors ascertain the source of his injuries, but efforts to save his life were in vain as he later lost his life in the early hours of this morning.
Zimunya was fighting Tinashe Majoni of the Charles Manyuchi Boxing Academy in one of 10 other matches making up the “Rise of Champions” bill hosted by Otto Boxing Club at Body Active Gym in Borrowdale, Harare, yesterday.
This was the second time Zimunya was fighting the same opponent, the first having been two years ago when they took part in a fundraising event at HICC hosted by former Energy Minister Fortune Chasi. Majoni walked away the winner.
For one whose short boxing career was one of nomadism, Zimunya – whose pro debut was two ago when he fought Bongani Makovora – had a stint with the Zimbabwe National Army boxing club.
His next port of call was the Legends Club of Mbare under the tutelege of Nyaude and in preparation of yesterday’s duel, he was working with coach Tarisai Ponde.
Zimbabwe Boxing and Wrestling Control Board general secretary Lawrence Zimbudzana described the fatality as “unfortunate and isolated.”
He said his office would soon issue a complete statement when a full medical report has been provided by the medical practitioners who attended to the departed boxer.
“We are with his family and club in our prayers. What’s more painful is that the potential of such a young talent has been nipped in he bud,” he lamented.
He said despite all protocols associated with the healthy hosting of a tournament having been fulfilled boxing had still been left a loser.
Requirements by the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act demand that there be a ringside doctor and an ambulance on standby at every professional boxing event.
This is the first time in Zimbabwe that a boxer has had to part with their life in the execution of duty inside a boxing ring.
The “Rise of Champions” boxing extravaganza was the first time since July that boxing was making a return following relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions and, tragedy aside, it has been hailed as a total success.
Enock Musambudzi beat Lazarus Sithole by TKO in the super-middleweight division contest while Freeman Mabvongwe also made short work of another Sithole (Clever) also via the same verdict.
Hassan “Starboy” Milanzi was the better fighter in a duel against Shumba Boxing Club’s Given Daure and Evans Husavihwevhu of CMBA also posted a win. Manyuchi Boxing Academy therefore had the biggest victories haul, with all its boxers posting wins in their respective outings. Nhau/Indaba