THE Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA)/World Boxing Federation (WBF) fight between Zambia’s Esther Phiri and Julie Tshabalala of South Africa is facing a K470, 000 budget deficit.
And Sports minister Vincent Mwale has appealed to the corporate world to help meet the balance for the successful staging of the fight.
Out of the total budget of K700, 000, the organising committee has so far raised K 230,000 through partnerships with corporate entities.
Mwale was speaking during the Esther Phiri networking breakfast at the Best Western Plus Lusaka Grand Hotel yesterday.
He thanked the companies which had raised the K230, 000 and asked the committee to expedite talks with Zesco, which is the major sponsor for the event to ensure that the full budget was realised in good time to allow for smooth planning of the event.
He said Government was happy with the partnership of Exodus Boxing Promotion and Superior Milling Company and that there was need for other companies to spread their corporate social responsibility tentacles by sponsoring the bout billed for October, 23 at the Government Complex in Lusaka.
“I’m grateful to the prospective sponsors from different corporate entities which are present here to share ideas and experiences to promote business and sport in Zambia,
“Therefore, Government is 100percent behind Exodus Boxing Stables and Superior Milling in this endeavour and it’s Government’s desire that the corporate world will quickly jump on board to support this important fight for Zambia given the stake on the table,” Mwale said.
And organising committee chairman Peter Cottan said Superior Milling Company was looking forward to staging a world class event and that it was happy to be associated with female sports personnel whose quest for international glory was unprecedented.
“The timing for this bout is perfect becouse Zambia is longing for glory after the success of Kabange Mupopo in the 1×400 metres final at the just-ended ALL Africa Games (AAG).
“As event managers, our aim is to stage a world-class tournament, given our previous experience of staging Esther Phiri’s fights,” Cottan said.
Cottan also said he was looking forward to a good performance by Esther whom he challenged to present an Independence Day gift to Zambians on the eve of the national day.
“We are delighted that Exodus Boxing Promotions is today promoting another woman icon in the name of Esther Phiri and come Friday, 23rd October, 2015, the country should be celebrating her victory and this will be a perfect independence present to mother Zambia as the country cerebrates Zambia turning 51 on October 24,” Cottan said.
He also appealed to other business houses to come on board and finance the budget.
“As supporters of Zambian sports, I am making a call on my fellow corporates to stretch yourselves through your corporate social responsibility resources and come on board with pledges or cash to support Esther Phiri who is both a boxing icon and a defender of the rights of the girl child,” he said.
The companies which have so far pumped in money or offered other services to meet the K700,000 budget are Best Western Plus and Lusaka Grand Hotel, Supersport, Goldman Insurance, Fairview Hotel and Wonderful Group of companies.
Others are Spruceland Technologies, Banana Express and Superior Milling as event managers.