To those who followed boxing between 2000 and 2004, the name Gerald Majaja may not be new.
He did not reach the pinnacle of his career as he quit at amateur level, but he contributed something to Malawi boxing.
One notable thing about him is that he trained with todayâ€™s Malawi big-name boxers such as Chimwemwe Chiotcha and the Masamba brothers [John and Wilson].
His was a household name during many main supporting bouts. He started boxing in 2001 at Sun Village Boxing Club in Liwonde with Matiasi Kaitano when Ladder Chimbalanga opened the club.
â€œMr. Chimbalanga trained me and other friends such as Maximos â€˜Snakeâ€™ Pius, the late Edward Misoya and Binali Twaya. Chimwemwe Chiotcha, the Masambas and Jones Mbenje joined us later,â€ he said.
He had his first amateur fight in 2002 against a Lilongwe-based boxer who was nicknamed Tom Paul. The bout, which took place at Sun Village, was stopped in the third round.
â€œThe guy was rough on me, which forced judges to stop the fight,â€ he claimed.
Majaja failed to travel to Zambia for friendly bouts arranged and sponsored by Chimbalanga.
After losing a fight on points in 2004 against Misoya, he left for South Africa in search of greener pastures, but upon his return a couple of years later, his interest for the ring had completely disappeared.
â€œI wanted a sport that would not require me swallowing painkillers after every encounter, so I started playing pool,â€ said Majaja who now manages and coaches Liwonde-based Kilowatts pool team.
â€œI did not want to force myself into a sport whose future was uncertain. There was no money in it; and no sponsors as is the case today,â€ he said.
Majaja commends Chiotcha for clinging to the sport until now.
â€œHe was not as good when he joined us. I am happy that he has tremendously improved,â€ said Majaja whose idol is Chikoya Mphande.
Majaja, 38, comes from Traditional Authority Nyambi in Machinga is married with four children.