HomeSportMaridzo’s title defence dilemma

Maridzo’s title defence dilemma

The Warren Park-based boxer beat South Africa’s Michael “Mickey” Schultz – a former convicted hitman to land the WBO Africa super middleweight championship belt in July 2010. However, local promoters have not been coming on board to bankroll the title defence in Zimbabwe.

 

Several SOS have yielded nothing and it’s a classic case of being forgotten by your own people.

 

A year ago, Standardsport highlighted, how people purporting to be his representatives in South Africa duped Maridzo of his earnings from winning the WBO super middleweight champion.

 

He only received R20 000 of the R45 000 cash purse.

 

Maridzo hardly looks like a continental champion as he still lives at his parents’ home in Warren Park despite landing that killer punch in the ring.

 

Things are not looking good for the man they call “Mastak Power” – a former rank tout as he is on the verge of being stripped of his belt as no promoters have been willing to come on board for his title defence.

 

World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa fourth vice-president Andrew Smale told Standardsport in an interview from his base in South Africa that Maridzo risked being stripped of his belt.

 

“He is neither a South African nor a Namibian so it is very difficult to promote his fights from this side. Why are Zimbabweans not willing to promote his fights when he is one of your best?

 

“Nobody seems to be interested in promoting the poor guy and he is wandering everywhere in search of sponsorship when he comes from a sports loving nation such as Zimbabwe.

 

“He told me that he is training here in South Africa because back home he does not have those facilities. Eventually he will be stripped of that title, but I cannot tell you about the time frame,” he said.

 

Frustration crept into the youngster who at one time erected a miniature Great Zimbabwe shrine at his home to “show the world the devotion that I have for this great country that has turned its back on me”.

 

“I love my country, but the country does not love me. I feel let down by my country. Twice I have raised the country’s flag high, but got nothing,” he once told Standardsport in an interview at his Warren Park home in April this year.

 

“Did you see what I am building at the gate? This is the symbol of the loyalty than I have for my country. It is a constant reminder to me of my roots and that I should never let my country down,” Maridzo said.

 

Out of that frustration, he left for South Africa, but all in vain.

 

Even efforts to relocate to South Africa after being “dumped” by his countryman have not helped the youngster.

 

Two times Maridzo beat Schultz to claim the title with the boxer taking only 87 seconds to beat him in the first meeting before again landing him that over end right that sent him crashing on his back to the canvas one minute 11 seconds into the third round in their second meeting last year.

 

Then Zimbabwe celebrated with the world and the then 27-year-old glowed in the light and was even among the sports personalities of that year.

 

However, until now, Maridzo is yet to be recognised for his efforts, just like other sporting personalities like Stephen Muzhingi and Kirsty Coventry who have been honoured by the government.

 

There might however be hope for Maridzo.

 

On Friday, the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart said the boxer’s plight had not been brought to his attention and urged the boxer to do so through the Sports and Recreation Commission.

 

“It is our duty to assist athletes. It is unfortunate that the boxer’s –plight has not been brought to my attention.

 

“He has to approach the ministry through the Sports and Recreation Commission so that something can be done about his plight,” said Coltart.

 

 

 

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