Malawian boxing fans hold Osgood Kayuni in high esteem as the local champion of the ring. But the Blantyre-based boxer must prove that he is indeed a big boxer in the making by outclassing his Tanzanian challenger Allan Kamote this afternoon in a non-title fight at Motel Paradise.
The Tanzanian is on record as saying he is here to clean his countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s boxing record.
With only one defeat in 20 fights, Kayuni is a star, but with only one international fight to his profile, the 27-year-old has a lot to prove on the international scene.
KayuniÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first international fight was against Zimbabwean Tafadzwa Kuchocha, which Kayuni won controversially on technical knockout in second round. The Zimbabwean claimed he was prematurely ruled out unfit.
In an interview in the week, Kayuni said he wants to prove that the victory against Kuchocha was not a fluke. He wants a knockout against Kamote.
“He is an experienced boxer, but I will stop him. I have watched some videos of his recent fights. He aims at knockouts in the opening rounds and I have worked on neutralising him in the opening rounds. I will give him a real Malawian treat,” said Kayuni.
On paper, Kamote is a tough opponent. He was unbeaten last year in six bouts, five of which he won, including four knockouts.
Since 1998, Kamote has fought 24 bouts; winning 16 (including eight knockouts), losing four and drawing four.
But Kayuni can take solace in the fact that Kamote is a bad traveller as he has never won outside Tanzania.
In August 2007, he lost to Anthony Napunyi on points in Nairobi, Kenya. In the same year, he was knocked out in the third round of a 12-round fight against Tabtimadaeng Na Rachawat in Suphan Buri, Thailand.
He also could not get past the fourth round against Napapol Sor Rungvisai in Chinga Mai, Thailand in 2008.
“His record outside Tanzania is bad, but I am not counting on that. This is a new fight altogether. I am not looking at history,” said Kayuni.
Speaking through interpreter Steven Msiska (managing director of Ngumi Boxing Stable), who are organising the fight, Kamote said he is here to clear his away record.
He said he wants to make amends after his fellow countrymen failed to win in Malawi.
“I want to clean my away record. I am here to restore the image of my country. We are a reputable boxing country. I know that Malawians underrate us because of some disgruntled duplicate Tanzanians who lost here,” said Kamote.
He added: “I am here to win on points or knockout. I am not an ordinary boxer I have fought a number of international bouts and know what it takes to fight at such level.”
The winner will get a cool K250 000 (about $1 497) courtesy of Ngumi Boxing Stable. The bout will be curtain-raised by a fight between Chimwemwe Chiotcha and Moses Mahilasi.
Also on that dayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s menu are the following womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bouts: Elizabeth Nota vs Chimwemwe Qaba; Ruth Nyirenda vs Enelesi Nkhwanti and Bertha Hosea vs Martha Longwe.
Msiska said they decided to bring in Kamote to ensure that Malawian boxers get a real test against top boxers.