The local boxing fraternity is in a state of shock following the sudden demise of veteran boxer John Masamba on Monday evening.
According to the deceased’s younger brother and fellow boxer Wilson, the country’s flag-carrier at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Canada was found dead in his house in Chilomoni Township, Blantyre after fire, which apparently emanated from a candle light, burned down his domicile.
The 40-year-old, who is expected to be buried this afternoon at Andasani Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kuntaja, Blantyre, had been an active boxer since the early 1990’s before turning into a full-time boxing trainer five years ago and he inspired several boxers including his three siblings Wilson, Limbani and Aubrey.
In his career, the deceased had countless local and international bouts and, according to www.boxrec.com, his last professional fight came on March 20, 2015 when he lost to Namibian Immanuel Naidjala.
Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) president Lonzoe Zimba yesterday described Masamba’s death as a big blow to boxing development in the country.
“He was someone who loved the sport from the bottom of his heart. Throughout his adult life, he was someone that up-and-coming boxers looked up to for inspiration through his hard work, dedication and discipline. He has also contributed a lot to boxing development as a trainer and we will greatly miss him. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” he said.
Former World Boxing Forum (WBF) Light Middleweight female champion Agnes Mtimaukanena Mwando said she could not believe that the veteran boxer has passed on just a day after being together at a gym.
On his part, Wilson said the deceased, who was the eldest in the family of four children, was more than a brother to him because he was the one that inspired and turned him into a prolific boxer after the death of their father Gabriel ‘School Boy Shasha’ Masamba, who was also a prominent boxer. n