By ELIZABETH CHATUVELA
ESTHER Phiri is ready to face Jennifer Faccio of Uruguay in a welterweight non-title international fight next month.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Esther said she has been practising for the Uruguayan for some time.
She said she rescinded her decision to retire because of the zeal for boxing.
Esther retired in February last year but bounced back this year.
The boxer, who fights under Exodus Boxing Stables, has fought 17 times,Â Â winning 14 with five knock-outs, two draws and one loss.
Faccio has eight fights with five wins and three losses.
â€œBoxing is my career and this is what puts food on my table. But I decided to come back because I want to say goodbye to my fans in an honourable way. I was forced to retire because I was frustrated with rumours that suggested that I was HIV-positive.
â€œThis issue is a challenge even now considering how people look at me in society. Iâ€™m, however, happy that the air has been cleared and I have my practising licence,â€ Esther said.
Zambia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Board of Control chairperson Nelson Sapi said Esther needs to work hard to silence her critics.
Sapi urged the boxer to remain focused and win more honours for Zambia.
Estherâ€™s manager, Anthony Mwamba, said Zambians should expect an explosive fight.
And Ponga Liwewe, who is assisting in marketing the event, said they have raised half of the budget.
Liwewe, however, could not disclose the budget.