Dar es Salaam. On November 13 this year, Tanzanian professional boxer Hassan Mwakinyo registered a technical knockout (TKO) win in the fourth round against Argentinian pugilist Jose Carlos Paz to defend his World Boxing Federation (WBF) super-welterweight intercontinental title.
The bout - dubbed ‘Jackson Group Fight Night’ - was held at the Next Door Arena in Oyster Bay, Dar es Salaam. It was the first international professional bout to be staged at the state-of-the-art venue of international standards.
The Citizen noted things on the occasion that featured professional boxers from different countries. For example: Mwakinyo’s victory against Carlos Paz marked the second win by him against Argentinian boxers.
On March 23, 2019, Mwakinyo recorded a knockout (KO) win in the fifth round against another Argentinian boxer, Sergio Eduardo Gonzalez, in a fight held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
Mwakinyo, Zarika fight in Kenya
November 13 this year - a ‘Friday the Thirteenth,’ for God’s sake! - also saw to a famous Kenyan female boxer, Fatuma Zarika, fight against a Zimbabwe female boxer, Patience Mastara, for WBF’s World Featherweight title. Coincidentally, Zarika also fought in Kenya on the same date with Mwakinyo’s - and won the super-bantamweight World Boxing Council’s world title against Zambian female boxer Catherine Phiri , winning on a unanimous decision.
Venue entrance fees
Boxing fans in Tanzania had to pay Sh150,000 for a normal seat each - and Sh3 million for a special table for ten people. Clearly, the fees targeted well-heeled boxing fans, as special seats at boxing venues are normally sold at between Sh20,000 and Sh100,000 each!
Contrary to expectations, the Next Door Arena was filled to capacity - and the fans were accorded first class services by the organisers. Spectators who paid Sh150,000 had a relatively good view of the boxing ring, while those who paid Sh3 million watched the fights from a superior position, sitting on special coaches. The fans were also provided with high security to prevent being harried by other attendees.
The organisers showed a high level of professionalism by sticking to the time-table for the scheduled events.
So, some fans missed the first and second fights after coming in late. Indeed, it is normal for boxing fans to turn up late for fights, partly because some promoters do not honour the set time-tables.
Therefore, fights involving Tanzanian boxer Zulfa Macho and Alice Mbewe of Zambia, and Hussein Itaba versus Alex Kabangu, were watched at the scene only by very few spectators.
The organisers announced that the first fight would start at 8pm on the dot - and that was exactly what happened.
Six nations in one boxing ring
The night had boxers from six nations battling it out using one ring - albeit at different times: boxers from Argentine, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. That’d never happened before. In the past fight, promoters used to invite boxers from one or two countries to feature in boxing tournaments in Tanzania.
High level of professionalism
The night saw to WBF president Howard Goldberg and a famous boxing referee, Edward Marshall, supervising the bouts. The organisers, Jackson Group Sports, showed their committed by incurring the costs of transport, accommodation and fees for WBF to sanction the fights to take place.
This was different from the event that was staged at the PTA Hall whereby the organisers failed to follow the rules, including incurring the related costs for the World Boxing Council (WBC) officials to supervise the WBC (Asian Pacific) title bout - and, consequently, WBC refused to recognise the event, declaring is a non-title event!
As for the Next Door Arena Jackson Group occasion, no such thing happened - and everybody merrily went home fully satisfied.
no complain so far.
By Majuto Omary @majutoy2k [email protected]