ROBINSON KUNDA and SYLVESTER CHISHIMBA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA’s hopes of minting a medal at the World Boxing Championship in Hamburg, Germany, were dashed on Saturday night after light heavyweight Mbachi Kaonga lost to Manfredonia Valentino of Italy on unanimous points.
All the three judges scored in favour of Valentino.
Algeria’s Mokretari Sid Ali and Milczarek Slawomir of Poland both scored 30-27 in favour of Valentino while Kavasji Farhad of India and Szucs Veronika from Hungary put their scores at 29-28 for the Italian.
Vilarino Manuel from Argentina scored 30-27 for Valentino and the Italian cruised to the first round with an easy victory.
Kaonga was Zambia’s hope for a medal after welterweight Nkumbu Silungwe lost to Ukrainian boxer Ievgenii Barabanovin on unanimous points on Saturday.
However, Zambia Boxing Federation (ZBF) president Kennedy Mubita drew some positives from the two defeats.
“It was a good exposure for the boys [Mbachi and Nkumbu] to feature at the global boxing competition. They faced the best calibre of boxers in the world. This is a wake-up call for the ZBF to ensure that we get the needed equipment suitable for training our boxers. We need to improve on our training facilities so that we do not produce half-baked boxers,” Mubita said.