Monalisa and Phiri were scheduled to fight at the Mulungisi Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia, on Saturday, but Zimbabwe Boxing Board secretary Patrick Mkondiwa has revealed that they have been informed by the promoter, Antony Mwamba, that the bout has been put off.
Ironically, both fighters had invested heavily in the fight with Monalisa going on a one month training stint in South Africa while Phiri was in Spain preparing for the world title contest.
The Zambian holds the two titles, one of which she won in 2006, but still has to fight Monalisa for a title. Monalisa is one of the only two boxers in the world to have beat Phiri in her career. The Zimbabwean knocked out Phiri in Harare in 2005 but that fight was a none title contest and therefore not of much importance.
Mkondiwa said what is surprising is the fact that this time around Mwamba has not given a provisional date for the championship fight, raising fears that it might not take place at all.
At first, the two were supposed to fight in East London, South Africa, on July 13, only for the bout to be postponed to August 20 at the Mulungisi Conference Centre in Zambia, until the latest cancellation a few days before the clash.
Monalisa’s promoter, Boris Zneider, says he is disappointed with the cancellation of the fight as his boxer had spent a lot of time, and money, preparing for the fight. He says although they are unhappy with what has happened, they will keep on training, hoping that, one day, their chance will come.
Monalisa is bidding to become the first ever Zimbabwean boxer to win a world title. The best the country has gone are the three Commonwealth titles that Langton ‘Schoolboy’ Tinago won soon after Zimbabwe’s admission to international sport in 1980. Tinago won the Commonwealth titles at three different weight divisions between 1980 t0 1987.
Both the president of the Women’s International Boxing Organisation, Ryan Wissow and International Boxing Federation’s Lee Hunt had given their thumbs up to Monalisa’s world title challenge.