Manyuchi’s big fight goes ahead

Tadious Manyepo in MASVINGO
WBF world middleweight champion, Charles Manyuchi, says he wants to hand his challenger, Mahommed Sebyala, a lesson, when they meet here tonight.

The winner of the bout, dubbed “Duel of the Doom” will also walk away with two other belts — WABA World Supreme and World Professional Boxing Federation titles.

The bout has been cleared by the Sports Commission who halted most of the country’s sporting activities yesterday as part of measures to contain the latest wave of Covid-19 outbreak.

“The Sports and Recreation Commission hereby notifies members of the public that in light of the continued surge in Covid-19 infections, ALL sporting activities and events, are hereby suspended with effect from Saturday the 3rd of July 2021 (inclusive),’’ the SRC said in a statement.

“This suspension will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

“The only exemptions to this directive include-:
1. Athletes preparing for the 2021 Paralympic and Olympic games,
2. Cricket, in so far as it relates to the current tour by Bangladesh,
3. Football, in so far as it relates to the country’s participation in the Cosafa Cup,
4. The Charles Manyuchi title bout which will proceed.

“Enhanced Covid-19 protocols are being communicated directly to these codes, which should be stringently adhered to. For the avoidance of doubt, this suspension extends to the Zifa-PSL tournament for the Chibuku Super Cup, and all sports previously classified as low risk.

“All national sports associations, clubs, gyms and related stakeholders should abide by this suspension without exception.

“The SRC will continue to liaise with Government. However, in the meantime, national sports associations are strongly urged to encourage their members to undergo vaccination, particularly those with members participating at national level.

“Associations may contact the SRC for any assistance regarding access to nationally approved Covid-19 vaccines.’’

Addressing a press conference, after the boxers’ weigh-in yesterday, the 31-year-old Manyuchi, said he was ready to rumble. “I don’t normally want to talk, rather I want to talk in the ring,” Manyuchi said.

“Of course, I had gone for almost 17 months without getting into a boxing ring, and I acknowledge that I’m rusty.

“But, then, a lot is at stake.

“I’m not ready to relinquish my WBF world title, what makes it even sweeter is the fact that the belt has also been unified with two other crowns, so, you can see that this is supposed to be a big, big fight.

“My opponent is not a bad boxer, at all, the fight is going to be tough but I’m fighting at home and that should give me an extra urge. I have never lost a fight at home and I’m obliged to consolidate that record.”

Manyuchi will be fighting in Masvingo for the first time since turning pro.

The Chivhu-based boxer horned his fighting skills in the ancient town after he has picked from an amateur tournament in Triangle by Masvingo businessman Edgar Zvobgo (Jnr).

“Masvingo is where it all started, I feel very much obliged to honour the people of Masvingo and I think there is no better honour than bringing this big fight here.

“Of course, there won’t be fans, due to Covid-19 issues but I know the people of Masvingo, and indeed all Zimbabweans, are behind me. “The responsibility is now on me to try and not disappoint them.’’

Manyuchi has been in camp, for this fight, for the past three months, under the watchful eyes of Zambian trainer, Greetings Kaonga, who has been complementing Alie “Otto’’ Phiri, in drilling the fight.

WABA president, Onesmo Ngowi, as well as Zambian promoter, Chris Malunga, are some of the notable international boxing personalities, who will witness the historic fight.

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