ZIMBABWE’S female boxing star Kudakwashe Chiwandire missed out on an opportunity to become the first local boxer to win a World Boxing Council (WBC) gold title after an agonising loss to Mexico’s Yamileth Mecardo super-bantamweight world title fight in Chihuahua, Mexico on Sunday morning.
Chiwandire, who is populary known as “Take Money” arrived in Mexico, a few hours before the fight after enduring a nightmarish trip that was disrupted with delays in getting her visa to Mexico and flight cancellations. She also had no time to acclimatise to the conditions in the host country.
Despite the setbacks Chiwandire put up a brave display against her opponent, who was forced to dig very deep in order to pull through as the 10-round bout went all the way before a packed arena.
The 27-year-old Zimbabwean started brightly remained resolute despite a strong comeback from Mercado, who is a five-time world champion. However, the judges scored the fight 97 points to 93 in favour of the home favourite Mercado to give her the win via a unanimous points decision in front of her fans.
The high-profile fight against Mercado was the 10 professional bout in Chiwandire’s career and the her first abroad. Previously, she had only fought at home and in neighbouring Zambia, where she had a record of six wins, two losses and one draw.
For Mercado, who now boasts a record of 22 wins, three loses and zero draws, Sunday’s win was her fifth successful defence of her WBC super bantamweight world championship
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (ZNBWCB) has hailed Chiwandire for putting up a good fight, despite the loss. The ZNBWCB said in a statement:
“We are incredibly proud of Kudakwashe Chiwandire for her remarkable performance and dedication throughout the match. She has demonstrated exceptional skill and determination in the ring, representing Zimbabwe with great honour.
We are confident that she will come back even stronger in her future bouts. We would like to extend our congratulations to Yemileth Mercado for successfully defending her title and to both fighters for their outstanding display of sportsmanship.”