Boxing Editor's Choice Sport

Shaderick Pelekelo: Boxer, pilot in making

SHADERICK Pelekelo training at Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka.

BOXING is one prominent sport on the Zambian calendar that has favourably represented the country at various international competitions.
Both amateur and professional boxing have had a fair share of success at various levels, be it local, regional, continental or indeed global stage.
Women’s boxing has in the recent past recorded tremendous improvement and it is not a surprise that Zambia is the first African country to produce a World Boxing Council (WBC) gold bantamweight champion in Catherine Phiri.
Female boxing pioneer Esther Phiri, although inactive currently, remains a heroine having been the first to put the women-folk in the limelight in professional boxing.
Back in the days, amateur boxing was on the rise with the likes of the late Lottie Mwale and Chisanda Mutti making headlines.
Mwale and Mutti later turned professional.
Mwale is still regarded as Zambia’s greatest boxer. He was the only Zambian to have won the Commonwealth light middleweight title during the 1974 Christchurch Games in New Zealand, three years before he turned professional.
In his professional career, Mwale had an opportunity to spar with his role model Muhammed Ali.
“I have not watched Lottie Mwale before but I have heard a lot about him and from his record, I can tell he was a great boxer. I want to have a successful boxing career like he did,” says 13-year-old amateur boxer Shaderick Pelekelo.
He is yet to reach his full potential, but he is eager to realise his dream of being one of the country’s greatest boxers.
Born on May 21, 2003, Shaderick lives with his parents in Lusaka’s Chipata Overspill township.
He is currently in grade five at Bwafwano Primary School and wants to become a pilot.
“I am obsessed with planes and I really want to fly planes when I complete my secondary school. I want to be a pilot and I will work hard to ensure my dream comes true,” he says.
Shaderick started boxing in 2013 at a tender age of 10.
He is currently with Raising Hope Boxing Academy based at Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) and competes in the Samsung Youth Sport Challenge.
He has not reached the accepted international weight category but currently competes in the 27-kgs weight category.
He is yet to win a medal.
“I am not in a hurry to win medals. I want to first develop my career before I can start fighting for medals. Boxing is not a sport to rush. Right now, my aim is to ensure I reach my full potential then I can fight for honours,” Shaderick says.
He wants to have a successful amateur career before turning professional in the United States of America.
American Floyd Mayweather junior is his role model.
“When I turn professional, I want to fight like Floyd. He is the best,” he says.
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