Boxing’s judgment night

08 Dec, 2019 - 00:12 0 Views
Boxing’s judgment night

The Sunday Mail

Langton Nyakwenda

BESIDES being a former boxing champion, he is also a lawyer and a member of the Zimbabwe National Boxing Board of Control who does some sparring sessions during his free time, just to keep in shape.

But this time around, 40-year-old Modicai “Big Fish” Donga — a former Zimbabwe super welterweight champion who retired from the sport in 2011 — is back to some serious training for a “big purpose”.

He wants to “punish” Charles Manyuchi.

Dubbed the “Judgment Night”, the Manyuchi-Donga super middleweight challenge match is slowly gaining momentum as hundreds are now expected to throng the Rajiv Gandhi Hall at Harare Showgrounds on December 21.

Donga’s idea of daring Manyuchi sounds crazy, especially if one looks at Manyuchi’s impressive record over the last decade.

The current World Boxing Federation middleweight title holder has only lost twice since 2009.

His recent fight was a knockout win over Diego Gallardo of Argentina in a WBF middleweight title fight held at the Harare International Conference Centre on September 28.

That win took Manyuchi’s record to 24-4-1.

The former World Boxing Council silver welterweight champion remains unbeaten in Harare since 2009.

Interestingly, the last man to beat Manyuchi in the capital was Donga, who was then crowned the Zimbabwe super welterweight king at the Raylton Sports Club on July 25, 2009.

On the flipside Donga, who has been working tirelessly on his weight, last fought a professional bout on June 3, 2011 — coincidentally against Manyuchi, who emerged victorious on the night.

But eight years after announcing his retirement, Donga is ready to come back into the ring to settle a “beef” that started on a boxing WhatsApp group, before manifesting into a potential money-spinning thriller.

However, money is secondary to Donga, who has vowed to embarrass Manyuchi and put the record straight.

“There has been so much trash talk on social media, so the champion (Manyuchi) should come out and prove that he is a true champion.

“He has spoken badly of me and I am going to punish him a lot for that,” thundered Donga from his base in Swaziland.

Last week, there were murmurs that the fight could be cancelled following reports that Donga was “too out of shape” to be ready by December 21.

However, Donga has worked his way from 96kg to 82kg and is confident that he will move to within 80kg in the next few days.

“If ever there is somebody who is going to call off the fight, then it’s Charles Manyuchi. He is going to try and chicken out.

“But there’s no cancellation of the fight, the nation is going to see Modicai Donga in action again. The nation is going to see me demolishing Manyuchi.

“Manyuchi is going to be stung by the bigger bee. I am coming back, not because I am jealous of Manyuchi, but because fans want this fight,” Donga said.

Despite having the upper hand going into this fight, Manyuchi is, however, not leaving anything to chance. He returned home last Thursday from a two-week training camp in Zambia.

“It’s time to get down to some serious business,” Manyuchi said.

“Donga has demanded a fight and we will have it. As I have declared before, I will beat him wherever and whenever.

“Even if they put the ring at Mbare Musika, or in First Street right in the city centre, I will still beat him. I want to send him back to permanent retirement,” boasted Manyuchi.

The Chivhu-based boxer has four losses in a career that at one time saw him ranked amongst the top 10 boxers in the world by the World Boxing Council.

Only Page Tshesane of South Africa, Qudratillo Abduqaxorov of Uzbekistan, Magomed Kurbanov (Russia) and Donga have beaten Manyuchi since his debut in Harare on February 14, 2009.

“I have come a long way, I can’t just wake up and ruin my legacy by losing to Donga,” Manyuchi said.

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