Take him down! the crowd shouts. Blow after blow as the opponents hit each other mercilessly to reign supreme at the end of the match. Body weakened, a feeling of dizziness saves as the best opportunity to take advantage of the competitor. Holding each other while slowly letting go to support their bodies and catch a breath, then boom one strong punch knocks the competitor to the ground, this is boxing, Mbachi Kaonga’s sport.

Kaonga is a 24-year-old Zambian male boxer sponsored by the Zambia Air Force (ZAF),  born and bred in Lusaka city and the second last born in a family of 10.

His education story is short as he stopped  school in grade 6 due to lack of financial support. As a means of getting by, Kaonga engaged himself in casual  employment, working around the market area in Kaunda square by doing minor tasks for marketers and shop keepers such as fetching water and the like.

It was not until the fall of 2007 that Kaonga joined a boxing practicing group at Kaunda square welfare. During one of the training sessions a coach noticed his exploits in boxing  and decided to help me grow  his career.

Kaonga attributed his decision to join boxing from his desire to defend himself. His role models in the trade include  mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather.

His official  boxing career took off  in 2008, when he first participated in an amateur boxing tournament that was held in Linda compound,  promoted by Esther Phiri one of Zambia’s top female boxers.

“My first official fight was in 2012, when I fought  for Zambia national team at amateur level, during the  African zone 6 youth games in which I emerged victorious after defeating a Tanzanian national,” he said.

Since his first official fight, Kaonga’s career has been growing from strength to strength.  In 2013, he participated in the  International Boxing Association (AIBA). In the same year,  he also  participated in the African Zone four championships.

In 2014 participated in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after coming out first in national trials by wining three fights.

As it is in every sport there is win and lose and for Kaonga this lesson came in  2015 when he came out third in the Maputo International  Boxing Tournament,  losing by points to Gento Maquina in the semifinal. Back to his wining ways again, in 2016 he came out in first place after participating in a National Selection Tournament that saw him participate  at the AIBA Africa Olympic Event in Yaoundé, Cameron coming out sixth.

His previous fight was  in  2017 where he  lost to Valentino Manfredonia of Italy in the first preliminary round at the AIBA world championships in Hamburg, Germany.

In all, Kaonga’s boxing career is one that is promising, fought  70 fights and currently holding the third  position of one of the best boxers in Africa at armature level.

For him the key to success is about oneself and how much effort is put  in what one does.

“My  goal is to become a world champion someday and am currently working towards becoming a professional boxer by next year 2019” Kaonga said.

He advises the upcoming boxers to stay focused on boxing by staying away from drug abuse and listen to their coaches if they are to make it to the top in the boxing career.

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