WORLD Boxing Council interim champion Mexican Jessica Gonzalez pulled out of the championship fight because she was scared of losing her title, says Catherine Phiri.
The Zambian WBC female silver bantamweight champion said she was certain of grabbing the title.
According to correspondence from WBC president Mauricio Sulaimán Saldívar to Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions, the Mexican boxer decided to vacate the interim championship and will no longer continue as champion, and therefore could not defend the title against Catherine. Catherine told a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the pulling out of Jessica has not affected her in anyway, adding that she had always been training in camp.
“Most of my opponents are scared to fight me because they have seen how my fighting record looks. They are scared of denting their records,” she said.
Catherine said from the word go Jessica’s promoters had always been against fighting in Zambia.
Meanwhile OQBP operations director Christopher Malunga yesterday went ahead to announce a K762, 070 budget for the fight as they wait for WBC to name Catherine’s new opponent. Last week OQBP won the bid to host the WBC interim title fight between Phiri and Gonzalez after the two camps failed to agree on the purse money and venue for the fight.
Malunga said OQBP will wait until WBC finds Catherine another opponent, adding that the date and venue for the fight would remain unchanged. He said Charles Manyunchi would fight Mexican Silverio Ortiz to defend his WBC walterweight title.
Malunga said in other supporting bouts, Alfred Muwowo will fight Aubrey Masamba from Malawi while Lolita Muzeya fights Kenyan champion Evelin Odero.
“Gibon Kamota will fight Martin Manda both of OQBP as Donald Kampamba from Ever Green Boxing Promotions fights Enosy Temfuma from Exodus Boxing Promotions,” he said.
Malunga said the stable has since raised about K400, 000 which was half of the total budget, adding that there were many other firms which had shown interest in sponsoring the tournament. And OQBP assistant coach Wisdom Mudenda said Lolita was ready to take on the Kenyan Evelin.