The Sunday Mail
TWO-TIME Zimbabwean Sports Person of the Year Charles Manyuchi may get some crucial global exposure following news that boxing legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is set to be the at ringside when the local boxing king defends his WBC silver welterweight title in Singapore on March 25.
Manyuchi also received a boost ahead of his fight against Quadratillo Abduqaxorov of Uzbekistan when he was crowned Zimbabwe’s 2016 Sportsperson of the Year on Friday night.
Speaking after receiving his second Sportsperson of the Year award following initial success in 2014, the 26-year-old boxer promised to shine in Singapore.
“It will be nice to have a boxing legend like Pacquiao at ringside because it motivates a lot.
“This is my time to shine and to do it in front of the who is who of boxing,” he said.
Manyuchi added that he felt humbled to be voted the best sportsperson in the country.
“Winning the Sportsperson of the Year again is another motivating factor. I am happy that I have been recognized again so I promise to repay that faith with a victory in Singapore.”
Manyuchi’s title defence is being billed as the biggest ever fight in Singapore and organisers of the event, Cartel Promotions, are persuading Pacquiao to attend the event.
The fight will take place at the 3 000 capacity OCBC Arena in a residential town called Kallang.
Alexander Shah of Cartel Promotions told The Strait Times – Singapore’s biggest English language daily newspaper – of his plans to have Pacquiao attend the Manyuchi fight.
The 38-year-old Pacquiao is the current holder of the WBO welterweight title and is generally regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time as he is a six-division world champion.
He also owns a boxing stable Manny Pacquiao Promotions.
“This is the most prestigious boxing match in Singapore in many years.
“I am meeting Senator Pacquiao next week (this week) and try to convince him to come,” Shah was quoted as saying last Friday.
“He (Pacquiao) has some business investments here so there is a chance.”
Respected boxing publication The Ring has also taken an interest and will cover the event.
Manyuchi’s manager Chris Malunga reckons exciting times are in store for his boxer.
“There are so many things we can benefit from having Pacquiao at ringside and one of them is more international exposure for both promotions,” said Malunga.
Manyuchi won the Sportsperson of the Year in 2014 after claiming the WBC International title.
2016 ANSA WINNERS LIST
Coach of the Year – Rachel Davies
Technical official of the Year – Lucky Mlilo
Team of the Year – Mighty Warriors
Development Award – Rowing Association of Zimbabwe
Sports Administration – Zimbabwe Karate Union
Junior Sportsman of the Year – Beavan Sibanda
Junior Sportswoman of the Year – Danielle Marie Bekker
Junior Sportsman with a disability – Sherpard Patrick
Junior Sportswoman with a disability – Moment Bhebhe
Sportsman of the Year with a disability – Munyaradzi Musariri
Sportswoman of the Year with a disability – Margaret Bangajena
Women in Sport acknowledgement – Kirsty Coventry
Sportsman of the Year – Charles Manyuchi
Sportswoman of the Year – Micheen Thornycroft
Sportsperson of the Year – Charles Manyuchi