International Boxing Federation (IBF) continental super middleweight champion Francis Cheka has turned down Chimwemwe Chiotcha’s challenge for a rematch next month, arguing he has defended enough titles.
The Tanzanian, who beat Chiotcha on points during their first meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, last December, said in June he could only agree to a rematch if it takes place in his homeland.
Now that Chiotcha and the promoter of the bout, Stephen Mawenzi Msiska, have agreed to have the fight in Tanzania, Cheka has changed the tune, saying he is not interested in the battle for the IBF belt he holds.
“We feel his argument is empty as he is supposed to continuously defend it at least in three months as long as there is a challenger. This means he fears Chiotcha and he is failing to find a proper excuse,” said Msiska on Wednesday.
However, Msiska, who is director for Ngumi Boxing Promotions, said they have organised an international non-title bout for Chiotcha in Blantyre on August 4.
“We have written the IBF, asking them to declare Cheka’s belt vacant so that Chiotcha can fight another opponent for the title. But as we await reply from the IBF, Chiotcha will take on Kasongo Cherif from DR Congo at a yet to be identified venue in Blantyre on August 4,” he said.
This is the second time a foreign boxer has turned down Chiotcha’s challenge. Two months ago, Zimbabwean Charles Manyuchi disappeared on the eve of a bout at BAT ground due to some contractural misunderstandings with the organisers of the fight, Mulanje Last Boxing Promotions.