A lightning punch to the chin from the government sends Mozambique Boxing Federation President Gabriel Junior to the canvas.
He beats the referees count and gets up fast to avoid a KO. It was a painful trip to the canvas.
The government told Gabriel Junior Filho Do Povo they couldn’t financially support the national team’s trip to Yaounde, Cameroon for the Africa Boxing Championships.
He wiped his gloves and said to himself: “I’ve been knocked down but I’ll not give up, my boxers must go to Yaounde.”
Gabriel Junior then changed tact to ensure he wasn’t KO’d by lack of funds to bring his team here in Yaounde like some other African countries notably Zambia.
So what did Gabriel Junior do to fight on?
“My government told me there’s no money for us to go to Cameroon. I said no I will not give up,” said the Mozambican media mogul.
“If the government cannot support us, we will go forward by private sponsorship, we can’t kill the dream of these young people to make a living through boxing, sport is their life.”
Gabriel Junior said war is war!
“I will carry my own cross,” roared the never-say-die Gabriel Junior.
“We went with our champions to visit various companies to finance our trip to Yaounde, we offered branding in our equipment, we offered our boxers to be branding ambassadors, we explained to the companies how it’s important to use this competition as a last test before our national dream: qualification to Olympic Games.”
Gabriel’s strategy finally worked miracles, and got the support he needed from several companies.
Encouragingly, he had a product to sell in his two glamour boxing girls, Rady Gramane and Alcinda Dos Santos who now prefers using her dad’s name rather than Panguane after the duo mended fences over family issues.
Gramane is the reigning Africa middleweight champion and a bronze medallist at the 2022 Women’s World Championships in Istanbul while Alcinda is a silver medallist at the same global event and Africa light-middleweight champion.
Gramane and Alcinda are also the first women boxers in Africa South of Sahara to win medals in the World Championships, a feat of no mean achievement.
They lead Mozambique’s quest for glory in Yaounde.
Gabriel Junior picked 10 boxers – five men and equal number of women – for the Africa Championships. As hosts last year, Mozambique won five gold and two silver medals to finish second to Algeria on points.
Lucas Sinoia and Carlos Custodio
Helena Bagão 51kg
Benilde Macaringue 57kg
Isabel Mulungo 60kg
Alcinda dos Santos 70kg
Rady Gramane 75kg
Yassine Nordine 48kg
Armando Sigauque 57kg
Bernardo Marime 63,5kg
Tiago Muxanga 75kg e
Albino Gabriel 86kg
And the winner on a unanimous points decision is: Gabriiiieeeeeeel Junioooooorr Filhoooo Do Povo!!!!
Credit: AFBC Communications