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Manyuchi Races Against Time

Reigning World Boxing Council International Welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi is in a race against time to secure a title contender fo...

Reigning World Boxing Council International Welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi is in a race against time to secure a title contender for his belt by next month, as failure to do so could see the fighter stripped of his title.

Manyuchi’s last title defence was in July last year, against Italian Gianlunca Freeza, and according to the WBC regulations; a champion has to defend his belt within six months.

The 26-year-old boxer is yet to find a new handler following the unceremonious breakdown of his relationship with Zambian promoters Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions last December.

His only options now are to either find a contender or write to the world sanctioning body seeking for an extension. At the moment, American boxing agents have been in touch with Manyuchi, while interest from renowned Namibian promoter Nestor Tobias continues to grow but nothing tangible is yet to come out of the speculation.

Manyuchi, who is now based in Chivhu where he bought two houses from part of the $50 000 he received from President Robert Mugabe last year, was in Harare on Wednesday afternoon to sort out the issue.

“I am still sorting things out with my prospective promoter. It is almost a done deal now and I am confident stripping of the belt is out of context,” he said.
Prominent preacher Prophet Uebert Angel (Second-Left)
was on hand to congratulate Charles Manyuchi on his victorious night
The only way it seems for Manyuchi and his would-be manager is to apply to the WBC for more time to prepare for the title defence. Boxing analysts say it is possible for Manyuchi to avoid being stripped by the WBC even if he doesn’t defend by February.

“The only way out is for him to get a manager as soon as possible, then pay sanction fees and write to the WBC to ask for more time to prepare his defence. It is normal practice, if it is done properly, and Charles (Manyuchi) will be given more time and avoid being stripped of his belt,” said Clyde Musonda, a trainer and former boxer.

Former boxing board member Gilbert Munetsi fears the WBC might subject Manyuchi to a mandatory defence.

“There are two things that could happen and the worst is Manyuchi could be given an opponent, which would be bad because the boxer looks out of shape now and needs at least two months in camp to regain sharpness.

“The other way for him, which I think is wiser, is to get a manager who will approach the WBC and explain his plight as well as plead for more time to prepare.

“The manager will communicate to WBC the boxer’s predicament, the unexpected breakdown of his relationship with the Zambian promoters,” said Munetsi.

Manyuchi’s case is not peculiar as three other Zimbabwean champions have been stripped of their titles after failing to defend. Elvis “Bomber” Moyo was the latest to lose his belt, having been stripped of his World Boxing Federation All-Africa heavyweight belt last year.

In 2012, Tinei Maridzo lost his African Boxing Union Super middleweight crown, while Bulawayo-bred pugilist Thamsanga Dube was also stripped of his World Boxing Association Pan African heavyweight title in 2011. The Sunday Mail