Interviews / AFBC

Alcinda Panguana: I was about to quit boxing at a tough moment in my life

October 24th, 2022 / Interviews, AFBC

She started boxing to help her friend to lose weight and ended up as an IBA World Boxing Championships silver medalist, Commonwealth Games winner and African Champion. Today 28-years-old Alcinda Panguana from Mozambique is number 2 in the IBA rankings in 70kg

In fact, in the beginning, she didn’t like boxing. She started to go for the training by a chance ten years ago, to help her current teammate and IBA World Championships bronze medalist Rady Gramane to get fit. 

‘Later on, I started to get involved and gain taste. I still train in the same gym. My coach Lucas Sinoia Januário is a great man who taught me to never give up on my dreams. For those, who believe, everything is possible,’ she said. 

‘I have my coach as a source of inspiration. And I love him for being strong and never giving up on my dreams. When it’s hard, that’s where God is preparing you for great achievements,’ Alcinda added.

Panguana was about to quit training when her mother got ill and lost her job. 

‘I had several difficult moments in my life, but this one was the worst. Things became difficult because I had to study, train and work to help with the household expenses and take care of my mother since I am an only child. At that moment, I thought to stop training to take care of my mother’s health,’ she told.

Despite all her difficulties, she continued boxing and kept her progress. 

She qualified for Tokyo 2020 Olympics and won a fight there, but couldn’t make it to the quarter-final.  

‘When I qualified for the Olympic Games was the happiest moment of my career. It also meant a lot to be chosen to represent Mozambique at the IBA World Championships and get second place. My efforts paid off.’ 

At the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, she lost only the final fight to Irish Lisa O’Rourke. However, this silver medal became historical for Mozambique.   

‘This year for me was a year of many surprises and several achievements,’ she admits. 

The very special one was the African Championships, which she won in front of a home crowd.

‘I had everyone on the tribune there, my fiancé, my friends, schoolmates, my aunt, who I consider my second mother because she has supported me in several moments. I felt everyone’s support and vibration. My victory in Maputo was very special, especially because my family members were, there is no better support than that,’ Alcinda recalls. 

‘Boxing in Mozambique is developing very well, mainly with the support of the president of the National Federation, Gabriel Junior,’ she added. 

In addition to boxing, she spends her free time dancing, cooking and spending time with beloved ones. 

‘Now my goal is to win as many championships as possible, to get in better shape to be able to qualify for Paris 2024. 

‘I believe boxing should stay at the Olympic Games. It would help the development of the sport a lot,’ she concluded.