I WILL MAKE THE CHANCE COUNT :MANYUCHI
Boxing superstar, Charles Manyuchi is excited at the opportunity that has been presented to him by the World Boxing Council (WBC) to regain his welterweight silver title that he lost early this year. The 28-year-old was knocked out in a mortifying first round by Qudratillo Abduqaxorov in March to relinquish the title he had won the previous year.
It was in the manner in which he capitulated in just two minutes 56 seconds against a rookie opponent, where he was dropped twice, which shocked the world and drew a lot of criticism. Manyuchi appeared casual in his approach to the big fight, and tried some “drunken master” antics, but was caught with a sharp jab that sent him to the canvas.
While the contract for the fight stipulated a rematch, the Uzbekistani Abduqaxorov continuously dithered to take the option. The WBC subsequently stripped Abduqaxorov of the title after he had defeated Dmitry Mikhaylenko to retain the belt. American Shawn Porter won the vacant belt, defeating Adrian Granados last month. According to a Press release by the World Boxing Organisation this week, Porter will defend his title against fellow American Adrien Broner in January or February, and the winner will face Manyuchi.
“This is an opportunity I have been waiting for and I thank God that I will have the chance to reclaim my belt,” the Zimbabwean pugilist said. “All this time, I was wondering why I was not being given a rematch or a second chance just like everyone else who would have lost a title. This is an opportunity to do the right thing. I can’t afford to lose the belt again.”
But Manyuchi will have to be at his best to have any chance of regaining the title, as he will be facing two of the best fighters of the division. Porter (30) has an impressive record of 28 wins in 31 fights, two losses and a draw, while Broner (28), won 33 of his 37 professional fights. Manyuchi, who has a record of 21 wins in 24 matches, is unfazed.
“Their profiles don’t scare me a bit. I know what I’m capable of and they can underrate me at their own peril. Like I said, this is an opportunity I will grab at any cost. I regret losing the belt and I will correct the mistakes that I made,” he said.
Manyuchi has two bouts lined up in a few weeks’ time, which will now act as warm-up matches for the big fight. He returns to the ring on December 30 in Lusaka, Zambia, against a yet-to-be-known opponent, as one of the supporting acts for the fight between Alfred Muwowo, who will be defending his African Boxing Union title, and challenger, Dalisizwe Komani of South Africa in a 12-round contest.
Manyuchi will start the year with a WBC International welterweight title fight set for the Harare International Conference Centre on January 26. The opponent has been again kept under the wraps, but Manyuchi last week confirmed that contracts for the fight had already been signed.