Chisanga tipped for big things in the boxing ring

Mwenya Chisanga with his St Gerards coaches
Mwenya Chisanga with his St Gerards coaches
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St Gerards travelled to the Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Academy’s open boxing show with lone senior boxer Mwenya Chisanga.

The 19-year-old was making his debut but had already experienced competition in a K1 gym bout.

Head coach of the Chichester club Gareth Ferguson said: “He is a very naturally-talented individual but we had to teach him the basic rules and regulations of amateur boxing which differ from these other contact sports.”

Chisanga was up against the odds facing a home boxer - 18-year-old Ryan Cayford of HOP, who had already won all his three contests, including one stoppage.

Cayford weighed in at 62kg with Chisanga 63kg, just above the lightweight division.

After the opening bell, the pair tested each other with single shots trying to gain the early advantage.

Cayford is a well-schooled stand-up counter-punching Southpaw boxer and Chisanga had his work cut out.

The first round was very close and could have gone either way.

In the second, Cayford took advantage of his own style moving to Chisanga’s right and countering with straight lefts and right hooks, with little flurries of combinations winning him the round.

At the end of the second, St Gerards coach Jon Mills told Chisanga he had to follow his instructions on moving left to counter Cayford’s advantage and he did just that.

He opened up with a barrage of shots pushing Cayford back on to the ropes with a cracking body shot that clearly hurt his ego.

The Chichester teenager was firing on all cylinders with non-stop punches from all angles, catching Cayford with a devastating body shot, which made him cry out in pain before hitting the deck without any glimpse of recovery.

The referee called it off immediately and it took Cayford several minutes to regain his composure.

The third-round knockout was very well-deserved for Chisanaga.

Mills said: “One of the very basics at our club is the importance of working the body as it weakens the opponent’s defence big-time - and it surely paid off here.”

Head coach Ferguson said: “We are looking to get further contests for Mwenya in due course as its nearing the end of the season and he needs to be kept busy to progress, but we won’t be rushing things; we want to take it slowly and surely for success.

“Mwenya will box within the next two to three weeks and we will travel anywhere for appropriate contests. It’s all in the learning process for him - if he listens to our advice along with his natural talent, he could go a long way, but that’s dependent on his own self-belief and the necessary hard work, effort and humility.

“I’m sure he has a very bright future if he perseveres under adversity in our beloved code. He could put our city on the boxing map big-time.”