Commonwealth Games light-heavyweight bronze medallist; Yusuf Changalawe (pictured) is the only international boxer in Tanzania’s team of 12 boxers – 10 men and two women –
picked for the Africa Elite Men’s and Women’s Boxing Championships scheduled for Yaounde, Cameroon, from July 25 to August 6.
The other 11 members of the Tanzanian team will all be making their international debut in Yaounde. It’s a sweeping change aimed at giving new boxers a chance to prove themselves on the international arena.
Changalawe together with Kassim Mbundwike won bronze medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Burmingham, England.
Mbundwike has opted out of the team for now to pursue professional boxing.
The Secretary-General of Boxing Federation of Tanzania (BFT) Makore Mashaga said the 12 boxers will train at their respective clubs before assembling for residential training.
“We’re putting in the finishing touches to our team, sort out a few issues and then we start residential training,” said Mashaga, “We haven’t named the coaches yet.”
The two women in the team are professional boxers, bantamweight Zulfa Macho aka Zulu the Conqueror (4-0-0) and welterweight Grace Mwakamele (8-4-0, 5 KOs).
Mwakamele turned pro in 2013, losing her debut fight to Kenya’s Consolata Musanga while Zulfa is a former UBO world super-flyweight champion. She turned pro in 2014, defeating Halima Vunjabei whom she beat again in her latest fight on April 11, 2021.
The rest of the team – all making their debut in Yaounde – are middleweight Ilakunda Daniel, light-middleweight Davie Chanzi, welterweight Joseph Philipo, light-welter Sebastian John, lightweight Rajab Chande, lightweight Mwaalam Salaam, featherweight Ramadhani Kitogo, bantamweight Abdallah Mohamed and minimumweight Hamadi Hashim.