Gonorenda Retains WBF Title
Chamunorwa "Sting" Gonorenda successfully defended his WBF All Africa Cruiserweight title against Nigerian challenger Tony Salam in the main event of the “A Fist Full Of Dollars” boxing showpiece at the Harare International Conference Centre.
There was plenty of buzz around the fight heading into it, mostly largely due to the war of words between the fighters that was initiated by comments made by Salam, which insinuated that Gonorenda’s wife would “applaud him” after beating him up in the ring.
To his credit, Salam really brought the fight to Gonerenda, particularly in the early rounds, which seemed to catch the reigning champion off guard.
Gonerenda was forced to play catch up in the latter stages of the fight, which ultimately left him open on a number of occasions which Salam capitalized upon. This was particularly evident in the sixth round where Gonorenda was on the ropes after eating a flurry of punches from Salam.
To his credit, Gonorenda held on and took the next two rounds to regroup before he managed to finally cut Salam open in the eighth round.
Things pretty much came to a repetitive flow from that point on with Salam, seemingly confident that he had enough points to win, opting to adapt a “hide and wait” approach as Gonorenda chased him around the ring.
However, following a split decision, it had emerged that Sting had just done enough to keep his title much to the delight of the Zimbabwean crowd.
A point deduction for Salam in the tenth and final round, for spitting out his mouth piece may have been what lead to his downfall when the judge’s scorecards were read out.
Judges Phumeza Zinakile and Eddie Marshall both scored the fight 95-94 for Gonorenda, while the other judge Patrick Mkondiwa had it 96-93 for Salam. In a memorable post match interview, a clearly distraught Salam voiced his disbelief in the outcome of the match, which lead to another face-off between the two fighters with a rematch is reportedly in the works for Nigeria.
All in all, it was a very close shave for Gonorenda, who let the fight get away from him early on before taking some risks to claw his way back into the bout.
Only time will tell if the proposed rematch in Nigeria will go down, but if it does, Gonorenda will have to do a better job of containing Salam, who’ll likely comeback even more motivated after feeling that he should have won their fight.