Tadious Manyepo, Harare Bureau
THE sport-starved town of Chivhu could finally be rewarded for having World Boxing Federation middleweight champion Charles Manyuchi in their midst after the pugilist hinted he will defend the title in this Mashonaland East district.
The fighter is scheduled to defend his WBF crown on March 28 against a yet-to-be named opponent. The opponent is already there but is yet to sign a contract.
Manyuchi beat highly-rated Argentine boxer Diego Diaz Gallardo to become the first-ever Zimbabwean to win a world title last September.
And the Chivhu-based pugilist feels it is high time he affords his home town the opportunity to host the world.
“I have always boxed out of Chivhu, in terms of high-profile matches. People of Chivhu feel they are missing a lot. They have been calling for my WBF title to be defended right before them,” said Manyuchi.
“It is something we are considering wholeheartedly. Efforts are already underway to make sure the fight is held at Garwe Stadium in Chivhu.
“We cannot afford to always disappoint them. I train in Chivhu, stay in Chivhu and the Charles Manyuchi Academy is in the same town. So we are obliged to make the Chivhu folk happy.”
Manyuchi said preparations for the fight have already started and he will eventually cross to Zambia for the final preparatory phase.
He will be hoping to tap from the expertise of one of Zambia’s most celebrated boxers Antony Mwamba whose Exodus Boxing Promotions is in a twinning relationship with the Charles Manyuchi Academy.
“I have already started preparing for the WBF title defence. The opponent is already there but hasn’t put pen to paper as yet. We will be announcing his name in due course. But my preparations are going on well. We will intensify as we go and I will also go to Zambia for further preparations.
“As you might be aware, we are in a twinning arrangement with Exodus Boxing Promotions in Zambia and we will have some sparring against boxers from that stable.”
Meanwhile, the Charles Manyuchi Boxing Academy paid for seven members from their Chivhu fan club to enroll in the challenging Boxing Referees and Judges’ Course which they completed last week.
The graduates, who were amongst the 15 who passed the course which had 40 students, include Abigail Masuka, Doreen Matsambe, Pamela Katsonga, John Mushayi, Allison Garirai, Nyarai Moyo and Fibion Mashava.
Charles Manyuchi Boxing Academy promoter, Prosper Chibaya, pledged more support for people from Chivhu who are willing to break into boxing.