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Boxing Champion Manyuchi Willing to Stage Next Fight in Zimbabwe

  • Michael Kariati

Map of Zimbabwe.

Map of Zimbabwe.

Zambian handlers of Charles Manyuchi are keen to stage the World Boxing Council’s welterweight silver belt title holder’s next fight in Zimbabwe on condition that there is a sponsor for the match.

The ninth ranked World Boxing Council welterweight boxer has never fought in his homeland since turning professional in 2009 and has instead fought all his home bouts in neighbouring Zambia under Oriental Boxing Promotions.

However, the boxer’s Zambian manager and promoter Christopher Malunga has revealed that they have approached the Zimbabwean authorities to have the World Boxing Council silver belt title holder defend his world championship in Zimbabwe.

“We have been aiming at the WBC silver belt. Now that Manyuchi has that belt, it is important that he defends the title in Zimbabwe,” said Malunga.

Manyuchi has a five-year contract to fight in Zambia and Malunga says the Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane has received with enthusiasm the offer for the boxer to fight in Zimbabwe for the first time.

“The minister is willing to make sure that is done,” said Malunga.

However, Malunga says the fight will only be on condition that Zimbabwe raises the close to $150,000 or else this bout will not take place in the country after all.

But reknowned boxing promoter Stalin Mau Mau believes such a fight will remain a dream to Zimbabwe due to the current harsh economic environment in the country.

He says boxing is almost viewed as a charity venture in Zimbabwe.

“The economy does not allow charity contributions. You cannot make charitable donations when the economy is down. Only when the economy rises will you see people making contributions to boxing,” said Mau Mau.

For the past 10 years, Zimbabwe has failed to host an international boxing fight while local tournaments have also disappeared due to the economic situation.

The chairman of the Zimbabwe Boxing Board of Control Paul Nenjerama could not be reached for comment.

Malunga says a number of boxing managers have been knocking on their door with the view of challenging Manyuchi for his newly-won crown but they are not rushing into any deals.

“Automatically big promoters are coming on board to challenge our boxer. That is one thing. But we have to be cautious and careful because we cannot rush the boy when he is not prepared. We end up losing where we are supposed to be reaping,” said Malunga.

Manyuchi is supposed to make his first mandatory title defence after three months.

The Masvingo-born boxer found himself ninth in the world after he outclassed Russia’s Dimity Mikhaylenko to win the WBC welterweight silver title left vacant by Britain’s Amir Khan.

Manyuchi himself has paid tribute to his Zambian handlers saying they did everything they could to ensure that he won the silver medal which has put him close to a crack at the WBC gold title.
Before his fight against Mikhaylenko, Manyuchi was 14th on the WBC rankings.

Malunga says their dream is to clinch a deal to fight WBC welterweight gold title holder Danny Garcia of the USA before the end of this year.

In soccer news, Dynamos will begin their new life without coach Jorge Silva who was sacked yesterday with a tough assignment against unbeaten FC Platinum at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.

Lloyd Mutasa has been thrust into the hot seat but the former Kugona Kunenge Kudada coach would have wanted to play another team than FC Platinum who are unbeaten in league matches for a year.

However, Dynamos fans are optimistic that Mutasa will change the team’s fortunes after an indifferent period under Silva in which Dembare managed only five points from a possible 15 from five matches.

The match between Dynamos and the joint leaders is one of the many lined up for the weekend with top of the table Caps United on a tough and away assignment at How Mine who are coached by the seasoned Kelvin Kaindu.

Third-placed Highlanders are also not guaranteed of maximum points when they make the trip to Selous to play Ngezi Platinum Stars who have been consistent since their Premiership debut on April 4.

The other matches on the menu are as follows: ZPC Kariba vs Mutare City Rovers; Border Strikers vs Hwange; Bulawayo City vs Chapungu.

At the same time, the Zimbabwe women’s soccer team the Mighty Warriors are in South Africa for a high profile international friendly match against South Africa’s Banyana Banyana.

The Mighty Warriors are using the match as part of their preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games, which are just about three months away.

The South Africans too are also preparing for the global sporting festival.

After the South African encounter, Zifa have arranged another friendly for the Mighty Warriors against New Zealand.

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