Boxer Musa Ajibu has received a timely boost from Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama who has paid for the cost of his visa to travel to Russia for a rematch against Ibragim Iskandarov from Kazakhstan.
The two will face off in cruiserweight category on October 27 in Moscow.
In an interview yesterday, Ajibu said: “I am grateful to the minister because he has given me the money to meet all the costs of processing the visa in Tanzania.
“Travel and accommodation costs will be met by the organisers as per contract agreement, but what remained was the visa.”
He said organisers decided to arrange a rematch because the first bout ended in controversy although his opponent was declared winner.
Said the 33-year-old boxer: “What happened was that in the ninth round, I threw a punch at Iskandarov and he fell down and as I headed towards my corner, he hurriedly got up and threw a punch at me and I slipped and fell to the canvas because the floor was wet and that was when the referee declared him winner.
“So, after receiving a complaint from my team, the organisers accepted to stage a rematch.”
Ajibu, whose record stands at 28 wins, 15 losses and five draws, said he has intensified preparations for the bout.
“I will not give him any chance this time around,” he said.
Iskandarov also 33, has won all his seven bouts since turning professional.
Msungama said he felt obliged to assist Ajibu because he will be flying the country’s flag.
Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board president Lonzoe ‘Defector’ Zimba applauded the minister for his gesture.
He said: “He has led by example and we really appreciate. We do not take his gesture for granted.”