Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
WORLD Boxing Federation (WBF) All-Africa heavyweight champion Elvis Moyo is racing against time to shed off weight for his first European fight later this month.
The South Africa-based Zimbabwean pugilist will trade leather with 34-year-old Arnold Gjergjaj of Switzerland, who is ranked 58th in the world with 22 points, on May 25.
Moyo, who has been doing intense training since signing his contract last month, is at 126kgs and wants to reduce it to 116kgs.
“Training is going on very good and I’m working hard as I fight to drop some weight. As it is I’m at 126kgs and my target is to be at 116kgs on match day, but I think that will be somehow impossible because realistically with two weeks to go, I can push to 120kgs. But I’m still fast in the ring. It’s not bad, but I will try to work hard and see how much weight I can shed off,” said Moyo.
The Bulawayo Bomber is 70th on the world rankings with 19 points and has drawn up an intensive training programme as he hopes to upset Gjergjaj, who has 32 career wins. Gjergjaj has only lost twice against British legend David Haye and Sean Turner.
The Bulawayo Bomber said his training schedule was also affected by the fact that he has to juggle between work and gym due to lack of sponsorship.
“Look, I’m not complaining, but because I’m chasing my dream I have to make some compromises and work hard. I only have three solid days of training with the other days doing light training because of work.
“I don’t have a sponsor, I’m footing my own expenses preparing for the fight. It is that desire to do well that is pushing me to go to Europe and just win my fight,” said Moyo.
The former Tshaka Youth Centre boxer, who is nursing a hand injury that needs R30 000 for an operation, has been doing “therapy” to get the hand in shape.
The pugilist sustained the injury when he successfully defended his World Boxing Federation All-Africa heavyweight title against Kilola Lubika Didier of Congo last year in January.
He went on to beat Ukrainian boxer Pedyura Maksym in April still carrying the injury as well as Visser in February.
Moyo has roped in Cape Town-based Zimbabwean pugilist Felix Nkululeko Venganayi as his trainer on his European tour.
“Venganayi who has been to Europe is helping me with my visa issue so that I can do medical tests anytime. I’m ready for the fight, I want to show the world that these European boxers are lucky because they have sponsors to help them prepare, but we African fighters remain the best,” said Moyo. — @ZililoR