“I AM warning Esther Phiri that she has disturbed the sleeping lioness, I will neutralize those dangerous punches on May 22,” says South African boxer Sandra Almeida.
Sensational boxer Esther will face 32-year-old Almeida in the Women International Boxing Association (WIBA) and World Boxing Federation (WBF) welterweight unification title fight on May 22 at Government Complex in Lusaka.
In an interview yesterday, Almeida said Esther was a perfect opponent because she was also coming back from retirement.
“We are perfect opponents because both of us are making a comeback. I was on break for four years after I got married and just made a comeback to boxing last year in March. I am certain that we will both be seeking to restore our records,” she said.
She said that Esther should brace herself for a tough challenge because she was used to fighting champions.
“Throughout my boxing career, I have fought against champions which makes me work harder. I feel it’s easier to be an underdog as the champion has so much to lose. Esther has disturbed a sleeping lioness and I will definitely neutralize the punch she has prepared for me,” she said.
The South African boxer said she has not done much investigation about Esther apart from seeing her photos on social network because she has confidence in her abilities.
Almeida has fought 10 fights, winning five, losing five and drawing one.
Esther said she will not disappoint her fans and was focused on grabbing the belt.
Meanwhile, Lusaka Grand Hotel will accommodate Esther, boxer Linah Kasweka and coach Antony Mwamba at a cost of K50, 000 for a month.
Lusaka Grand Hotel media and public relations manager Janine Baalmann said the company decided to give back to the community by sponsoring boxing as sports plays a big role in Zambia.
“We understand that sports plays a big role in Zambia especially helping youths from engaging in bad vices. The institution also believes in gender equity and values Esther’s fight”, she said.
Mwamba, who is also Exodus boxing manager, revealed that Esther passed all the medical tests and was certified fit.
He said Esther was ready for the fight and will use the ‘power punch’ against Almeida.
And fight manager Jonathan Chilonda said the stable has raised K360, 000 out of the K600, 000 targeted budget.