Female boxing has gained serious momentum over recent years and one of the biggest rising stars hails from Zambia. Catherine Phiri debuted in the ring on July 25, 2011, defeating fellow Zambian fighter Esther Chalwe.
Five years later, Phiri would make history after dethroning current Mexican champion Yazmin Rivas. Phiri became the first Zambian female boxer in history to win the World Boxing Council bantam weight championship title on January 30, 2016.
Born in Lusaka, Zambia, this 29-year-old is set to continue breaking records with her current boxing record sitting at:
- Wins: 14
- Wins by KO: 5
- Losses: 1
- Draws: 3
Raising up a Community
As boxing continues to grow in popularity among female athletes, young girls are looking up to Catherine Phiri as both a role model and inspiration. Prevailing in a male-dominated sport, Phiri has given hope to young women across her country that if you set your mind to a goal, nothing can stand in your way. Born and raised in an impoverished section of Zambia’s capital city of Lusaka, Phiri knows first-hand how hard it is to strive for live a better life.
When Phiri is not in the ring training, she takes time to return to the streets of her home town, visiting with young children and spreading hope. Attending college herself, the boxer focuses on spreading the message of education and being tough. Orphans are another passion for Phiri, who understands how hard it is to motivate and inspire young children with no families. When she’s not at the gym or visiting her old neighborhood, she visits local orphanages to help the children stay positive and keep their goals a top priority.
Her Impact on the Economy
Phiri is even impacting the local community with her stardom. The Zambia National Building Society reportedly donated K10,000 towards her next fight to ensure proper facilitation and staging for a successful event. Direct donations help to meet the bout’s target funding goal, which in turn creates more jobs for locals to help build the event, work at the ring, and, of course, drive sales to the venue.
Phiri thanked ZNBS stating, “I am thankful for the sponsorship from ZNBS. This gives me the morale to train harder and ensure I defend the title, which I will definitely do.”