South Africa-based pugilist Isaac Golden Boy Chilemba has joined the boxing fraternity in mourning veteran promoter Laddah Chimbalanga who died on Monday at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre.
Chilemba said in an interview that Chimbalanga was instrumental in shaping up his career to become a world-class boxer by being accorded a chance to fight at the then boxing Mecca Sun Village Hotel.
“It’s very sad to lose such a person not only in boxing but in life. At the beginning of my career as an amateur, fighting at Sun Village was a dream and Mr Chimbalanga raised boxing to a certain level and he did great things for the sport,” he said.
He added: “I was so devastated to hear such news. When coach Andson Kazembe told me, I couldn’t believe it. May his soul rest in peace. He will always be in my heart.”
Chilemba’s long-time coach Kazembe also said Chimbalanga’s death has robbed the boxing fraternity of a man who ignited a new wave of boxing promotions in the early 2000s.
“I received the unbelievable news with great sadness. It has robbed boxing family of another great boxing man and a family man. He was passionate about boxing,” Kazembe, who is based in South Africa, said.
He said the deceased had big plans for boxing as he used to host hundreds of boxers and officials when he officially opened his boxing gym at Sun Village Hotel in Liwonde
Through his love for boxing, he exposed boxers such as Isaac Chilemba, Chimwene Chiotcha, Wilson Masamba, Chikondi Makawa, Osgood Kayuni, MussaAjibu, Aubrey Masamba, Robert Kachiza, Wellington Balakasi and Dave Mazinyane.
“We used to travel from Liwonde to Lilongwe and Mzuzu to host amateur boxing tournaments with the aim of bringing awareness to promote amateur boxing in the three regions. Nchalo Boxing Club was a huge winner. He even bought them a boxing ring.”
Malawi Boxing Association (Maba) president Justice Katika said Chimbalanga was a committed promoter.
Chimbalanga was buried on Monday in Domasi, Zomba and is survived by two wives and 12 children.