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Patrick Chinyemba aims to make history at IBA Champions Night

Will Zambia’s colourful flyweight Patrick Chinyemba (pictured) become Africa’s first ever winner in the IBA Champions Night series?

Chinyemba, Africa’s top flyweight who’s a bronze medallist at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and a quarter-finalist in this year’s Men’s World Championships in Tashkent, meets Russia’s Artur Nagapetian at the Dushanbe Arena Sports Complex in the landlocked Central Asian country, Tajikistan, today (October 27).

Chinyemba, the fifth African boxer to be invited for the prestigious IBA Champions Night series, has a headstart over the Russian boxer given his vast experience.

He’s a crafty boxer who combines showmanship and ring dexterity to overcome his opponents but much will depend on how he copes up with the professional style format of five rounds of three minutes each. This is his first time to take part in a five-rounder.

Commenting on his inaugural participation in the IBA Champions Night series, the 22-year-old Chinyema, a soldier with Zambia Defence Forces, says: “I’m proud of myself to compete in IBA pro boxing, I feel greatly honoured to be invited and I’m confident of victory.” He says he’s using the Dushanbe event as part of his preparations for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

The first edition of the International Boxing Association Champions Night took place in Abu Dhabi on December 12 last year.

African boxers entered the fray in the third series on August 26 which coincided with International Boxing Day in Serpukhov, Russia.

Uganda’s East and Central Africa middleweight champion Shadiri Bwogi and South Africa’s former IBO and WBF welterweight champion Ndongeni Xolisani represented Africa in the Serpukhov card with both of them losing on identical 5-0 verdict.

Bwogi was outpointed by Uzbekistan’s Odiljon Aslonov and Xolisani lost to Russian southpaw Khariton Agrba.

Cape Verde’s reigning Africa female welterweight champion Ivanusa Moreira Gomes was the third African boxer to feature in the IBA Champions Night card on September 30 in Turkey.

Pitted against Netherland’s 2022 light-welterweight bronze medallist, Heijnen Chelsey, Moreira lost 5-0.

Two-time Africa female middleweight champion and a bronze medallist at last year’s World Championships Rady Gramane from Mozambique was the next African boxer in the Champions Night card on October 18 in Paris.

Much was expected from Gramane but she lost 5-0 to homegirl and 2022 world championships bronze medallist Davina Michel.

Chinyemba now carries the hopes of Africa to become the first one from the hugely talented boxing continent to put a smile on the faces of thousands of boxing fans focusing on his fight tonight.

IBA President Umar Kremlev is the brains behind the introduction of the lBA Champions Night series in his pursuit of improving the lives of boxers worldwide.

“IBA boxing and professional boxing now go hand in hand, our Champions Night is gaining momentum worldwide with every event,” says Kremlev, adding: “IBA assists boxers from an early age, nurturing them until they become professionals as our aim is to provide all opportunities for our boxers because we sports officials are here to serve them.

“Champions Night series is therefore an opportunity for them to perform in both amateur and professional styles and achieve immense success. IBA is the home of boxing that offers both education and work.”

Credit: AFBC Communications

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