A well-organised boxing feast by Namisonga Boxing Stable nearly turned ugly last Sunday when fans felt cheated following Tanzanian boxer FurahaÂ Andengenye controversial third-round retirement against Malawiâ€™s Wilson Masamba.
While fans vented their frustration on the stable for bringing fake boxers, it has transpired that Andengenye is an established boxer in Tanzania.
But it is his manager Omari Yazidu who is to blame. Yazidu secretly made Andengenye fight a 12-round non-title fight just seven days before last Sundayâ€™s fight while in transit to Malawi from Tanzania. This could be the reason he could not cope against Masamba as he was exhausted.
Investigations show that Andengenye fought against Goil Mwakitalu at Africana Club in Kyela, a district on the border between Malawi and Tanzania, on Sunday, October 21 2012.
The boxer won the bout on points with Yazidu as the referee.
Two days later, the two left Kyela by road for Malawi and arrived on Friday morning ahead of the fight against Masamba on Sunday.
The seven-day gap between the fights and the hectic travel by road did not do Andengenye any favours as he failed to recover from fatigue that clearly caught up with him when he faced Masamba.
However, Namisonga promotions manager Charles Nkhoma expressed ignorance of the issue.
â€œWe are hearing from you that the boxer had a fight in Kyela on Sunday.Â This now explains their late arrival. They were supposed to arrive on Friday last week.
â€œWe sent transport money three weeks in advance. But Yazidu kept on saying they are being delayed due to transport problems. We are really disappointed,â€ said Nkhoma.
Yazidu could not be reached for comment on both his Malawian and Tanzanian mobile numbers.
Â But he blamed the boxer for casual approach in a post-fight interview at Motel Paradise.
â€œI donâ€™t know what happened to him. He just looked as if he didnâ€™t want to fight,â€ he said
But one local boxer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that every time Yazidu brings boxers to Malawi, he makes them fight in Karonga and Tanzanian border districts before they come to Malawi.
This could be the reason most of the boxers he has brought have failed to live up to expectations after failing to finish bouts.
â€œI have gone there twice and fought boxers in night clubs as they come here, so that does not come as a surprise. The Tanzanian boxers are desperate for money and they donâ€™t care whether they lose as long as they get their cut as fights are difficult to secure in Tanzania,â€ said the boxer.
National Professional Boxing Committee (NPBC) general secretary Daudi Chikwanje has since said it is investigating Yazidu on the matter.
The organisation has said the Tanzanian promoter will not be allowed to bring boxers into Malawi again pending the investigations.
Â â€œWhen Namisonga were arranging the fights, they approached us and we signed contracts with them and later on we informed our counterparts in Tanzania to give us a boxer. They suggested Rashid Ali. But later, they said he could not come as he was preparing for a title fight next week.
â€œThen they never made further communication until last week when we heard it was Furaha coming. There was no consultation with our body on the second boxer who came with Yazidu,â€ said Chikwanje.
One of the disappointed fans was quoted on radio accusing promoters and boxing authorities of taking boxing fans for granted with fights involving Tanzanians.
â€œIt is the same old story; we come here with anticipation to watch great fights, but we end up being disappointed because either Tanzanian boxers donâ€™t show up in time or fail to meet expectations. We feel cheated. Itâ€™s high time we started getting boxers from other countries such as Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and even South Africa,â€ said Amos Langa of Ndirande.
Namisonga has since declared they have stopped inviting boxers from Tanzania and will look in the southern African region.
Fast facts on Andengenye
- He is an experienced and recognised boxer.
- According to www.boxercom.com, he has fought 15 certified fights, winning 12 and losing three.
- He also fought Masamba in Lilongwe on the Boxing Day in 2007, losing on points. The previous year, he won against Philemon Nkhakamila-Banda on points.
- Yazidu has officiated 10 of those fights, according to the website.
- He is ranked 15th out of 47 boxers in Tanzania and 671th of 1 265 in the world in the featherweight category where he fights under the global ID number 446285.
The other Tanzanian boxer, Meisha Samson, who lost to Chimwemwe Chitotha on Sunday, did not fight in Kyela, but is ranked fourth out of 14 boxers in Tanzania and 436th out of 1 209 in the middleweight category.