WORLD Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight silver champion Catherine Phiri was yesterday afternoon still stuck in Johannesburg waiting for the South African Airways flight which failed to take off for New York on Friday night due to bad weather conditions in United States.
Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP) operations manager Christopher Malunga confirmed from South Africa that Catherine who is scheduled to fight defending champion Yazmin Rivas for the WBC bantamweight gold title on January 30 in Mexico had not taken off for New York.
Malunga was yesterday waiting for South African Airways to confirm if the flight will take off.
“We are still in South Africa because once more the plane couldn’t take off on Saturday for New York as a result of bad weather. We are hoping the rescheduled flight will be cleared,” he said. He however he said they were also waiting for the promoter and WBC to reroute the flight.
“We are also waiting for the fight promoter and WBC to reroute our flight. We cannot be here for a long time when the fight is on Saturday,” he said.
Meanwhile, trainer Mike ‘Weaver’ Zulu said Catherine was undergoing light training to ensure she remained in shape and maintained her weight. Zulu emphasized that the flight challenges will not affect the boxer as she was psychologically prepared for such mishaps.
“The boxer is doing fine and in weight. She is still focused on getting the title and not even flight challenges will be a deterrent,” he said. Catherine is expected to connect from New York for Tijuana, Mexico where she will jump into the ring againt Rivas for the prestigious WBC gold bantamweight title. The ten round bout will be the main agenda at the 2nd WBC women’s convection in Mexico.
Catherine has vowed to fly back home with the belt saying her time has finally come to rule the WBC women ranks adding that Rivas should be more s cared of her because she was about to lose the title.
During a press briefing before departure, Catherine said she was ready for the epic fight and would not be intimidated by Rivas fighting before her home fans.
“For all I care, I will just close my ears and concentrate on fighting no matter how much the fans cheer Rivas. I am travelling to Mexico with the sole aim of getting the WBC belt from Rivas and I want to fulfill my mission. My time has come” she said.