WOMEN International Boxing Association intercontinental welterweight champion, Monalisa Sibanda, is battling to come down to the required weight, ahead of her title defence, scheduled for Harare, next month.
Sibanda was supposed to defend her title, against Tanzanian challenger Happy “Sniper” Daudi, in April, last year.
But, the fight failed to take place, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
She has been instructed by WABA to stage the fight by September this year against the same opponent.
The last time she was in the boxing ring was in April 2019 when she claimed the title against Kenya’s Joyce Awino.
However, she has accumulated significant weight, over the past 27 months, which she is now battling, to shed off.
“I am busy preparing for the title defence and the road hasn’t been easy, at all, given the lengthy period, I have been inactive,” said Sibanda.
“This is the longest period, in my boxing career, without getting into a fighting ring.
“It’s not surprising, I have accumulated weight, I am working on shedding it off as I prepare to defend my title, against Daudi, of Tanzania.
“I am training alone, at home, following instructions from my coach.
“Fernando ‘Shinga Chidzo’ Tom has helped me shed off some of the weight, so far.
“But, in actual sense, we never really stopped training but the way we have been doing it saw me gaining some kilos, given the uncertainty about the fights.”
The 36-year-old said she will be working alone, until authorities allow her to have some sparring partners.
“At the moment, it is very difficult, I have to work with my bag, in the backyard only.
“I cannot have any sparring partners until we are cleared to do so.
“So, in terms of technique and tactic, I will have to play catch-up, when I get the clearance but, so far, so good.
“I should say, in terms of losing weight, we are registering great progress. We have worked very hard, every day, and the results are starting to show.
“I am about 50 percent ready for the fight so that means we have to work with speed, since the fight is scheduled for August, or September.”
She said her own stable, Dynamite, in conjunction with Clyde Musonda’s Delta Force, will promote the fight.
“We are still in negotiations, with Delta Force, but indications are that we will stage the fight together.
“Our stable will come in, as part of the Delta Force’s Pound for Pound series, if all goes well.
“But, at the moment, we are appealing for corporates, and individuals, as well as the Government, for sponsorship.”