World Boxing Federation (WBF) All-Africa cruiserweight champion Chamunorwa “Sting” Gonorenda retained his title with a split decision over Britain-based Nigerian Tony Salam at the Harare International Conference Centre on Friday night.
The local favorite had plenty of trouble getting the upper hand against the crafty southpaw visitor and a point deduction for Salam in the tenth and final round, for spitting out his mouth piece, ended up costing the challenger a draw.
Judges Phumeza Zinakile and Eddie Marshall both scored the fight 95-94 for Gonorenda, who improved his record to 12-12 (7), while the other judge Patrick Mkondiwa had it 96-93 for Salam, now 11-2 (6).
A rematch is reportedly in the works for Nigeria in late October. Salam was reduced to tears after Friday’s bout as he felt he had been robbed after throwing the most punches but the 34-year-old Gonorenda felt he had won the match due to his watertight defense.
“My guard was much better, I kept my hands up. The judges are not stupid, they can see what’s happening, you can throw as many punches, but if you don’t land any it’s pointless,” he said.
“He (Salam) was working too hard. I made him work hard and hitting on my guard. If you’re a champion you have to be clever.”
Gonorenda said he was now aiming for the world title after successfully defending his continental belt.
“I want to go for the world title. If Tony Salam wants a rematch, I can beat him any time, any place and anywhere. However, there’s no point, I must go forward and the world title is coming next,” he said.
In the co-featured bout, Namibian Lukas Ndafoluma successfully defended his WBF intercontinental middleweight title just four weeks after winning it, when Tanzanian challenger Hussein Itaba dislocated a shoulder and retired at the start of round four.
Nicknamed “The Demolisher”, Ndafoluma is now 13-1 (5) having also captured the IBO All-Africa title last year. Unlucky Itaba, who was expected to provide a good test for Ndafoluma despite mediocre statistics, drops to 4-2-2 (3).
Billed as “A Fistful of Dollars”, the WBF double-header was promoted by Kalakoda Promotions and televised live by Kwesé Sports.