BY SPORTS REPORTER
THE stage has been set for the first edition of the VIP & Corporate Boxing Banquet, dubbed Friday Night Rumble, to be held at Cresta Lodge in the capital on Friday with eight professional bouts, including two regional bouts between boxers from Zimbabwe and Malawi, set to headline the event.
Friday Night Rumble, which is expected to become a regular event following Friday’s launch, is the brainchild of former rugby star Gerald Sibanda, who has now ventured into boxing promotion.
Sibanda, founder of a fast-rising sports marketing firm called Athletes Sphere Management (ASM), will also head the boxing division of ASM, named Athletes Sphere Promotions (ASP).
The former Sables and Cheetahs wing told Standardsport in an interview yesterday that all was set for the inaugural edition of Friday Night Rumble, which he hopes will play a crucial role in the development of local boxing.
“It’s been a lot of hard work preparing for the boxing tournament from the team, all the logistics are in place now…the ultimate winner is our boxers whose careers are going to benefit hugely from this tournament,” Sibanda said.
“Our objective is to complement the good work of other boxing promoters around Zimbabwe and afford our boxers a chance to get exposure and improve their ratings in their professional careers. Sport has the power to change lives; I have no doubt Zimbabwe will nurture another world champion through our edition of the Friday Night Rumble.”
According to a preliminary fight card availed by the promoters, a total of eight bouts have been lined up for the night headlined by the main bout featuring Anele Bafana and Sinakoma Tendai.
A woman’s boxing match-up between national lightweight champion Chiedza Hombakomba and Ferestus Modester of Malawi has also been lined up in a move meant to promote boxing among women.
Other top boxers expected to feature on the fight card on the night include Clara Marambakuwanda, Aliya Phiri, Benson Wareti, Alfred Kashiri, Emmanuel Chasiya, Magare and Ndodana Moyo.
The Friday Night Rumble is a VIP boxing banquet, which the hosting promoter believes will present networking opportunities for the businesses and stakeholders
“I expect a high-profile guest list from our business executives to our local role models and celebrities. The hype has been good and the excitement has been building… Another wow factor is of course seeing the fashion and entertainment industry thrive on this night since its formal attire, black tie theme… giving our partner JanJam an opportunity to showcase some of their glamorous outfits on the evening,” he said.
Some of the corporates who have partnered for the event include automotive sales company FaraMatsi Motors, Delight Energy, Chez Zandi and Nature’s Click while entertainment will be provided by the tournament partner, The Movement Entertainment Agency.