Chilemba feels ‘disrespeted’:  Malawis ‘Golden Boy’ attempting to defy the odds

Malawi’s South Africa-based boxer, Isaac ‘Golden Boy’ Chilemba is determined to punish Russian Sergey Kovalev for his “total disrespect” when the two square up against each other in the WBA Super, WBO and IBF world light-heavyweight titles in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

Isaac Chilemba boxing
Isaac Chilemba boxing

According to Sky Sports,  what angered the 29-year-old Chilemba (24-3-2-KO10), is that Kovalev (29-0-1-KO26) is treating the bout like a formality after the already arranged a bout in November against former super-middleweight king Andre Ward.

Now Chilemba is all fired up and he is convinced he can upset the odds come Monday.

Chilemba is reported to have told South African newspaper, Sowetan that: “Clearly they see me as a stepping stone and that’s total disrespect.

“They are looking past me when we have not fought, which means they see me as just a sparring partner. I am now going out there with more reason to beat this guy.

“I am going to teach him some manners and in the process make history by becoming the first African fighter to win three titles in one night.”

As of July 2016, Chilemba, the former IBO super-middleweight and WBC International light-heavyweight champion, is ranked by The Ring magazine as the world’s seventh best light-heavyweight.

According to wikipedia, Chilemba made his professional debut in Gauteng, South Africa on 19th October 2005, defeating Thamsanga Tindleni in the 2nd round of a 4 round contest.

He compiled a run of eight successive victories before dropping a points decision to Willbeforce Shihepo on 5th July 2007 at the Emperor’s Palace in Gauteng. The reverse to Shihepo was immediately rectified in his next fight, again in Gauteng, on 21st November 2007 defeating Shihepo on points over six rounds.

Two more fights followed in 2008 resulting in wins over David Basajjamivule and Chamunorowa Gonorenda before Chilemba got the opportunity to fight for the African Boxing Unions super middleweight championship on 13th September 2008.

The fight for the title once again took place at the Emperor’s Palace and pitched Chilemba against the experienced former Commonwealth champion Charles Adamu with Chilemba winning the fight with a 12 round decision to lift the title.

In his next fight Chilemba stepped up to light heavyweight and challenged former victim David Basajjamivule for the WBO version of the light heavyweight title. The fight at the Graceland Casino in Mpumalanga took place on 13th June 2009 and resulted in a second victory over the Ugandan.

Chilemba followed this up on 31st October 2009 with another title win, this time defeating French based Congolese fighter Doudou Ngumba to lift the African Boxing Union’s light heavyweight version as well as the WBC International title.

A first defence of the WBC title was due to have been made on 26 March 2010 with the Malawian travelling to England to meet former British champion Tony Oakey but that fight never materialised after Oakey lost an English title fight to fellow countryman Danny McIntosh.

Following Oakey, the next opponent lined up for Chilemba was to be Rupert van Aswegen but he then chose to retire from the sport altogether leaving the Malawian once again without an opponent.

Following the pullout, Chilemba moved back down at super middleweight and won against undefeated Australian Michael Bolling on 19th June 2010 at the Emperor’s Palace, his fourth title fight in a row.

Chilemba succesfully defended his IBO belt on 6th November 2010 at the Emperors Palace against touted South African Thomas Oosthuizen. On 25th February 2011, Chilemba travelled to Tulsa, Oklahoma to fight in the United States for the first time against  Maxim Vlasov.

The unbeaten Russian on all 19 of his previous fights, managed to knock Chilemba down twice in the 8th round but the Malawian picked himself up to win the fight over the 10 round distance.

Chilemba retained the WBC International light heavyweight title on 26th March 2011 with a unanimous points win against Namibian Vikapita Meroro in South Africa.


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