Mlilo makes debut international fight

Sukoluhle Mthethwa



BHEKIMPILO Mlilo, the son of former Zimbabwe middleweight boxing champion Ambrose Mlilo, gets his first taste of international boxing when he takes to

the stage in a non-title fight in Namibia tomorrow.


The 22-year-old Mlilo faces Namibian boxer Tommy Hungo (21) in a light middle weight bout.


Mlilo only stayed for a year in the amateur ranks before turning professional this year.


The young boxer was invited by a South African boxing promoter, John Whitehead from Ellis Park Boxing Academy in South Africa, to fight in Namibia.


“I am very happy to have got the invitation to fight,” Mlilo said. “It will be my first international fight.”


The young pugilist has a dream of becoming not only champion of boxing in Zimbabwe but to conquer the world as well.


“My goal is to become a world champion,” said Mlilo. “With these international fights I know I will get there.”


He has only fought two matches since he turned professional. But he believes that will not matter against the Namibian boxer tomorrow.


“I have only had two professional fights,” said Mlilo. “But that will not make me lose the fight on Saturday.”


His build-up to the fight has been disturbed by the lack of pre-match fights as professional tournaments are rare in Zimbabwe because of lack of sponsorship.


“I was only trained by my father,” he said. “I do not get professional fights as much as I would like.”


The boxer will also have a stint with South African boxers as he will be based at Ellis Park Boxing Academy for two weeks.


“I will also get the chance to meet South African boxers,” he said. “It will expose me to top South African boxers.”


If Mlilo’s amateur record is anything to go by, then the pugilist has the potential to go far. He fought and won all his 16 amateur rank bouts.


“I fought 16 fights in the amateurs and I never lost,” Mlilo said. “They even used to call me champion of champions.”


Patrick Mukondiwa, secretary of the Zimbabwe Boxing Board of Control, said the fight was an opportunity for the young man to market himself.