SOUTH African boxer Sandra Almeida says she will knock out Esther Phiri during the World Boxing Federation (WBF) and Women International Boxing Association (WIBA) welterweight unification title fight this Friday at Government Complex in Lusaka.
Almeida, 32, who arrived yesterday aboard South African Airline at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) around 15.00 hours emphasized that her aim was to end the fight in the fifth round via a knock out.
She described Esther as a little hyena that disturbs a sleeping lioness by grabbing its meat.
“I have never won by a knockout but the Friday’s fight will end in the fourth or fifth round. I have trained very hard and will not come this far to lose,” she said.
“She has woken a sleeping lioness. Esther should expect a tough challenge and be ready to succumb to the lion’s fight. I don’t know much about her but have the confidence of going back to South Africa with two belts,” she said while laughing.
Almeida’s trainer Kenneth O’Connor declared his boxer ready and that he was aware that Zambians were warriors but that South Africans were better.
Almeida has fought 10 fight with five wins, four draws and one loss while Esther has a record of 16 wins and two draws.
Meanwhile, Pepsi Group of companies has donated K150, 000 towards the hosting of the fight.
Speaking when he unveiled the sponsorship, fundraising committee chairman Peter Cottan said the Pepsi sponsorship completed the needed K620, 000 budget required for the tournament.
Esther will be making her second appearance in the ring at the Government Complex in Lusaka since returning from a brief retirement.
Cottan, Esther and her manager Anthony Mwamba thanked Pepsi for coming on board to meet remaining balance for the budget.
Esther assured Pepsi Group of companies that their sponsorship will not go to waste.
“I am grateful and I will make sure that I don’t disappoint you… because I have prepared very well for this fight,” she said.
Esther promised Sandra she would meet a real “killer bee” in the ring on Friday evening.
And Pepsi group chief executive officer Krishnan Shankar said his company was proud to sponsor Esther because she was more than just a boxer.
“Esther is a national hero, an icon, and a role model for the youth of Zambia,” he said.
Shankar said Esther represented the very best of what the nation could offer after coming from humble beginnings. He said the boxer worked hard for everything she has achieved and fought to the top, adding that her journey had not been without struggle.
Shankar promised to continue sponsoring Esther’s future fights because she was a good boxer.