INTERNATIONAL BOXING FEDERATION AFRICA (IBF/AFRICA) – THURSDAY 11 JULY, 2013, DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – Long cherished by adventure travelers for its fabled Serengeti plains, Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro, the United Republic of Tanzania known as the cradle of mankind for being home to the 3 million years fossil found at the Oldvai Gorge, has proven to be the cradle for the IBF/AFRICA activities in Africa since 1999.
Building a Regional Hub
Anchored by the most famous tourist destination sites in the world, Tanzania is perhaps the best country in the African continent to host the IBF/Africa. The country’s vision is to stimulate growth through the creation of modern sports centers, as the “Las Vegas of Africa”.
December 09, 1999 IBF Continental Africa’s activities were born with triple continental titles held on that particular day at the Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga, Tanzania pitting Magoma Shaban of Tanzania against Joseph Waweru of Kenya for the IBF Continental Africa Flyweight Title. Maneno Oswald of Tanzania battled it out with Mohamed Orungi from Kenyan for the IBF Continental Africa Jr. Middleweight Title while Mambea Bakari of Tanzania squared it off with Kenyan Bob Obala for the IBF Continental Africa Welterweight Title respectively.
With these triple continental African titles, IBF/Africa was poised to take off successful. The following year 2000, several IBF Continental titles were contested:
Joseph Marwa (right) Pummeling his opponent
Joseph Marwa of Tanzania won his IBF Continental Africa Super Middleweight Title against Lucas Omondi from Kenya. Marwa defended his title against Sipho Moyo from Zimbabwe in the same year 2000.
In 2002 Chaurembo Palasa met Ugandan Ssemkumba Johansson for the IBF Continental Africa Lightweight Title while Maneno Oswald squared it off with Deo Wanana also from Uganda for the IBF Continental Africa Middleweight Title. Magoma Shaban would dispatch Totin Lukunim from Thailand for the IBF Continental Africa Jr. Bantamweight Title in the same year 2002.
IBF Continental Africa titles found a safe home in Tanzania as it continued to produce several continental champions in Ramadhani Shauri, the IBF Continental Africa Featherweight Champion in 2012 when he dispatched Sande Kizito from Uganda in the sensational duel.
Francis Cheka (left) with Chimwemwe Chiotcha (right)
Tanzania is also home to the most celebrated IBF Continental Africa Super Middleweight Champion Francis Cheka who won the title in 2011 against Mada Maugo also from Tanzania. Cheka has since defended his title twice against Chimwemwe Chiotcha from Malawi in December 26, 2012 and Thomas Mashali from Tanzania in May 1st, 2013 respectively.
Tanzania arguably the most peaceful nation and politically stable in Africa, was the first country ever in Africa where the former IBF/USBA President Hiawatha G. Night visited in 2000 to officially unveiled the activities of the IBF/Africa to compete for the lucrative share of the boxing market in Africa.
Ramadhani Shauri “IBF Continental Africa Feat weight King
During her visit, the IBF/USBA President Hiawatha Knight expressed her great pleasure and desires for being in the continent terming it the future for professional boxing. President Knight was accompanied by one of the top ring officials in the world Robert Byrd who was then the Patrol Commander of the LAPD. The IBF/USBA delegation to Africa conducted ring official’s seminar at the Kilimanjaro 4 Stars Hotel in Dar-Es-salaam.
The delegation was hosted at the State House by then Tanzanian First Lady Anna Mkapa in addition to paying a courtesy visit to then Tanzania Foreign Minister Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (currently the President of the United Republic of Tanzania) to be followed by a visit at the Kurasini Orphanage Center in the company of the Tanzania First Lady Anna Mkapa and Kaole Ruins in Bagamoyo respectively.
Also, President Knight visited the neighboring country of Kenya in the company of IBF/Africa President Onesmo Ngowi of Tanzania where she held fruitful discussions with both government and the boxing officials on the development of boxing in the region.
Tanzania remains a powerful presence in the IBF/AFRICA activities to Africa, Middle East, Arabian and Persian Gulf ostensibly being led by Onesmo Ngowi as the President of IBF/Africa and IBF/USBA representative to Africa. Ngowi is also a Board member of the Commonwealth Boxing Council (CBC) with head offices in London, UK.