Africa Boxing Union title holder Charles Manyuchi has left Zimbabwe to join a Zambian stable as the sport continues to crumble in the country.
A few months after losing top horse trainer Alyson Wright to South Africa, Zimbabwe has also lost newly crowned Africa Boxing Union welterweight champion, Charles Manyuchi, who has relocated to Lusaka where he will be fighting under Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions.
Manyuchi has signed a three year deal with the Zambian boxing promotions company that binds him to fight in that country under the management of Chris Malunga.
Already, Manyuchi who is trained by Zambian, Mike Zulu, is scheduled to make his first title defence in Zambia in September this year.
The African Boxing Union has given Manyuchi less than three months to make his mandatory defence of the title or risk being stripped of the belt.
The latest developments constitute a serious blow to Zimbabwean boxing as local boxing fans will not be able to watch Manyuchi in action having won the title away in Burkina Faso.
Boxing promoter Danboy Chitimbe says losing Manyuchi does not augur well for a sport which is suffering from lack of role models.
Chitimbe says something needs to be done urgently before Zimbabwe loses more top sportsmen to other countries.
Zimbabwe has over the years lost a number of high profile sportsmen, some of whom have gone on to represent other countries.
Rugby players Kennedy Tsimba and Tendai Mtawarira represented South Africa at international level while heavyweight boxer, Derreck Chisora, fights under the British flag.
Chitimbe says sport in general has suffered due to lack of government support.
Middleweight boxer, Farai Mugoni, believes it is good for Manyuchi to fight in Zambia.
He says Manyuchi is fighting to sustain his family’s needs, adding that there is money in Zambia and not in Zimbabwe.
Manyuchi last month knocked out 30 year old Patrice Peko of Burkina Faso in the fifth round to win the ABU welterweight title.
He became the fourth ever Zimbabwean boxer to win an ABU title.
He follows on the heels of the likes of the late Proud ‘Kilimanjaro’ Chinembiri, Langton ‘Schoolboy’ Tinago and Stix McLoud who won African titles in the 1980s.