Tadious Manyepo-Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE boxing “Godfather’’ Stalin Mau Mau’s passion for the sport is still burning.
The veteran promoter clocked 69-years yesterday and he spent the day relaxing at his Greendale home.
Of course, at every turn during our 30-minute interview, his phone rang and 90 percent of the time, it was a friend from either the boxing fraternity or elsewhere conveying a good wish message.
And every caller wouldn’t hang up without asking him something to do with boxing.
Such is his influence in a sport that has had mixed fortunes in the country over the years.
And Mau Mau appealed to the local boxing fraternity to shun malpractices and be united to save a sport which has so much potential than several sport codes, including football.
He said the password to success in the sport is discipline.
“Well thank you very much for helping me commemorate my birthday. You know you can advise or counsel people but again all that depends on the nature of the individual that you will be dealing with, it depends on how responsive one is to wisdom. I always believe that wisdom is greater than wealth. Wealth doesn’t produce wisdom but the opposite is true.
“Fundamentally, everyone who has a role to play in boxing should exhibit the highest level of discipline in order to promote the sport and safeguard it,” said Mau Mau.
“There are a lot of things that happen in boxing. There is also a Mafia in this sport, betting, match-fixing, dirty tricks, those things.
“Obviously, this is not unique to boxing alone as these things also happen in other sports. But, I urge Zimbabwean boxers to guard against all these malpractices to keep our sport in a reputable space.
“Those temptations kill sport and they also kill you as an individual. You will never be comfortable knowing that you fixed a match.”
Mau Mau stressed the importance of unity in boxing.
“One problem in boxing is that we are not really united. We should be a family. I want to play my part by staging tournaments in conjunction with other promoters, whoever comes on board, we should hold joint promotions, we can help each other a lot.
“At the end of the day we will build our boxers in terms of visibility in terms of their records. If they are not visible, they won’t get anywhere. I am looking forward to working in conjunction with other promoters like Ali Phiri and others.”
Mau Mau has produced several boxers who have made it big in the industry yet he hardly gets the recognition he deserves.
But the recent honour he received from the World Boxing Council will be etched in his mind for a long time to come.
“I am glad we have managed to produce, over the years, some of the greatest boxers the country has ever had. When I look back, I am so delighted to have achieved as much as I did.
“But the highlight of the whole journey, for me, was when I was recognised by the World Boxing Council to appreciate the efforts I have made in the uplifting of boxing in Zimbabwe over the years.
“There was no money that came with the medal of appreciation but honestly that medal is worth everything. It carries a whole lot of wealth in my life. I value that a lot.
“I haven’t been honoured by my own people but again, I don’t do all the sacrifices for boxing so that I get recognised or so that I get any benefits. I do that from the bottom of my heart so that someone out there can realise their potential.
“I spent an average of US$4 000-US$5 000 per tournament. It’s becoming more difficult for me as you can see that I am also getting older and I also have some other commitments, that’s why you will see that we will have fewer tournaments.
“But, I will never quit. I have a great passion in this sport and I can assure you that I will die serving this sport.
“I have played different roles in different stages just to uplift the game. This year, we will have two tournaments.”
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