Floyd Mayweather, a well-known former boxer with a reputation for being flashy, recently announced that he will be visiting South Africa and Zimbabwe in July of this year. The boxer himself verified this information on his Instagram page.
Beginning on July 13 and 14, Mayweather will arrive in Harare, Zimbabwe, to kick off his trip. On July 15 and 16, he will go to Joburg, South Africa. The exact nature of Mayweather’s visit, including whether or not he will compete in any boxing fights, is not yet known.
After meeting with ZANU PF Harare Ward 21 councillor Scott Sakupwanya in Dubai in May 2022, the retired American boxer revealed his intention to visit Africa. Mayweather headed to Dubai with old sparring partner Don Moore for an exhibition bout.
However, the event was called off at the last minute due to the death of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The UAE declared a 40-day mourning period, with all governmental and commercial sector activity suspended for the first three days.
Sakupwanya, a gold dealer, who was in Dubai to meet with possible investors, claimed that he and Mayweather had been long-time friends and that he had been invited to the boxing event. He went on to say that he had been appointed as Mayweather’s official brand ambassador for Africa, and that Mayweather intended to invest in Africa, with Zimbabwe being one of his primary targets. Mayweather was seen wearing a scarf with the colours of the Zimbabwean flag in a popular social media video, stating that he will be visiting his motherland, including Zimbabwe.
Government critics, including Norton legislator Temba Mliswa, argued that Floyd Mayweather was not doing public relations for Zimbabwe for free. Mliswa expressed his scepticism, stating that Americans like Mayweather are very conscious about marketing and image rights, and do not do anything for free. He believed that Mayweather was being paid for his visit and was simply out for a payday, rather than being motivated by any ideological agenda or belief in Zimbabwe.
Mliswa argued that the focus should be on practical measures to make the country attractive for investors and foreigners, rather than paying individuals or companies to speak positively about Zimbabwe. In the past, the government of Zimbabwe has paid millions of dollars to lobby and public relations firms to improve its image.
Further details about Mayweather’s visit to Africa have not yet been revealed. It is unclear whether he will participate in any boxing matches or make only appearances. Mayweather’s visit is expected to generate a lot of interest and excitement among boxing fans and the general public in Africa.
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