By Gilbert Munetsi
Boxing progidy Charles Manyuchi is poised to defend his three world boxing titles and vie for yet another in January next year as he traces his roots back to his former stable, Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions, of Zambia.
The celebrated fighter is the reigning World Boxing Federation (WBF), World Alliance Boxing Association (WABA) and World Professional Boxing Federation (WPBF) champion. On January 29, 2022 he seeks to add yet another feather in his cap – the World Boxing Union (WBU) title.
Previously, he has bagged the African Boxing Union (ABU), World Boxing Council (WBC), Global Boxing Union (GBU) and Universal Boxing Union (UBU) championships bringing his total cabinet silverware to 13.
Manyuchi told Nhau Monday that he will only spike his gloves when he has shelved a total of 18 belts from different sanction bodies.
He is now four titles shy of reaching the tally.
According to a K565 000 fight card unveiled at a press conference in Lusaka earlier in the week, Manyuchi will face Said Mbelwa of Tanzania in the middleweight division for a unification of his three titles.
Theirs will be one of the supporting bouts of the main WBC interim gold female super-bantamweight contest between Zambia’s Catherine Phiri and Kudakwashe Chiwandire of Zimbabwe.
Other Zimbabweans invited to take part are Aliyah Phiri (lightweight) and Bongani Makorova (bantamweight). Manyuchi niched his international boxing career seven years ago when he was given a home by the Zambian club, OQBP, to kick-start what was to culminate into an extremely successful ring career.
Under the wings of the Lusaka-based stable, he was able to challenge for and win the African Boxing Union (ABU) against Patrice Sao Toke of Burkina Faso in 2014, after which he went on to snatch the World Boxing Council international championship and, later, the WBC silver title.
He has deservedly benefitted from the conquest by being crowned the Annual National Sports Awards’ Sportsman and Sportsperson of the Year while the government of the First Republic gave him a US$50 000 and a diplomatic passport for having flown the country’s flag high.
After his recent WABA/WBF match which he won against Muhammad Sebyala of Uganda in July this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa presented to him a US$10 000 token of appreciation.
During a press in Zambia OQBP unveiled a nine-bout fight card that has former son, Manyuchi, on it.
“Charles Manyuchi will forever remain an Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions boy. We made him the ABU and WBC champion and that is a lot of investment by the club and its its partners for which we are very proud.
“We have achieved all this over a long period of time, so its so good that he is on our bill,” said OQBP manager Christopher Malunga in an interview with Nhau from Lusaka Monday.
In an arrangement that initially had Manyuchi fighting an international friendly contest, a mutual request has been tabled that will see him defend his titles to fulfill the mandatory requirements of the three global sanction bodies.
Malunga said of this development: “As Oriental Quarries we have a relationship with ABU, WBC, WBA and WBO. But if he (Manyuchi) wants to fight for a title of his choice, we have no objections, we respect his decision.”
The darling of Zambian boxing enthusiasts under whose support he was offered that country’s citizenship (but opted to turn it down), his return to Lusaka is expected to ignite fond memories of the fight champion they used to rever and call “Manuchi”.
His contemporary squad then comprises of other WBC and ABU champions Catherine Phiri, Lolita Muzeya and Alfred Muwowo. Nhau/Indaba