Reporters on the Job

Getting into a Fight: Correspondent Joseph Schatz had only seen boxing matches on TV before he went to watch Esther Phiri's match in a stadium on the outskirts of Lusaka, Zambia. The title fight (see story) wasn't as scary as the experience of getting into the stadium, says Joe. There was a crush of people trying to enter.

"It was chaotic," says Joe. Many people turned up without tickets, tried to jump over the walls or pick pockets. A typical match ticket costs about $12, which is out of reach for the average Lusakan. Once inside though, things were fine. "The match was exciting," he says.

The day before, Joe had met Ms. Phiri's mentor, Antony Mwamba , a highly respected retired boxer who made it to the quarter finals of the Olympics in 1988. Mr. Mwamba stopped fighting in 2000, and struggled to become a trainer. In 2003, he discovered Phiri and he's now the country's top trainer.

Joe says one thing that ties the old and young boxer is that they both come from poor backgrounds. "One of the things Mamba tries to do is show young people that they can make a living in boxing," he says. The young woman's success, Mwamba told him, was like "a prayer answered."

– Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar

Monitor Staff

THE WEEK AHEAD

MONDAY, DEC. 3
Canberra – Australia's centre-left Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd and his new ministers sworn in.
Bali, Indonesia – UN Conference on Climate Change through Dec. 14. Kyoto Protocol signatories meet on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.
London – Turner Prize for art announced.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 5
Guantánamo Bay, Cuba – Hearing for Salim Ahmed Hamdan, former driver for Osama bin Laden, accused of conspiracy and supporting terrorism.

– Reuters, Associated Press

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