The Sunday Mail
REIGNING World Boxing Federation champion Charles Manyuchi will be making a return to the ring on April 3 when he fights Ugandan Muhamad Sebyala for the defence of the title he won by knocking out Argentine Pablo Acosta in the fourth round at the HICC in September last year.
Following dismal shows by Manyuchi’s past two opponents, whom he defeated without breaking a sweat, match-makers have had to look up to East Africa for an opponent. While Acosta fell in the fourth round, his fellow countryman, Diego Gallardo, did not fare any better and failed to go beyond Round 5.
Manyuchi (W24-KO15; L4; D1) will also be fighting for a claim of the inaugural World Africa Boxing Association supreme middleweight title. He fights under his own stable, the Charles Manyuchi Boxing Academy, which he founded in 2018.
His handlers also told The Sunday Mail Sport that there are plans to add a third belt, the World Professional Boxing Federation title, on the same night in a winner-take-all arrangement with his East African opponent’s camp. Manyuchi, who disclosed his intention to make a belts haul from different boxing bodies the world over before he eventually spikes his gloves, also holds the Universal Boxing Union lnter-Continental, the Global Boxing Union and the WBF world titles.
Previously, he has won the African Boxing Union as well as the World Boxing Council international and silver titles.
“I want to be remembered as the boxer who held the most titles in his fighting days. By the end of this year, I aim to have taken the total number of my belts to 13,” he said.
The April 3 event is scheduled for the City Sports Centre in Harare. Evans Husavihwevhu will also be fighting for the WABA-Africa crown against Malawian opponent Romeo Makwakwa in the lightweight division.
Other boxers making up the bill are from Zambia. They include Manyuchi’s female stablemate, Lorita Muzeya (15-0-0), a former holder of the WBC female welterweight title.
However, there has been an outcry over Team Manyuchi’s choice of opponents, who are said not to be up to scratch.
The boxer was quick to defend the selection.
“The task of choosing opponents belongs to match-makers. I don’t care where the boxers I fight come from, what I know is that as long as I am inside the ring, I must beat them and beat them thoroughly. I have plans to redeem myself and return to where I belong,” he said.
Last December, Zimbabwe heavyweight champion Tamsanqa Dube fell to Shafiki “The Killing Machine” Kiwanuka, a Ugandan, in a WBF-Africa challenge. Manyuchi has a special task to atone for that loss.
Sebyala comes into fight rated No. 1 in the middleweight division in his country. However, he has had futile shots at numerous meaningful title claims, among them the African Boxing Organisation, ABU, WBO Africa and WAB Asia.
Manyuchi, who refused to fight Modicai Donga last December, said taking up the challenge wouldn’t have added any value to his career. He stressed that he had nothing to prove by fighting Donga.
“For starters, the opponent who wanted to fight me (Donga) last fought more than 10 years ago, he has been inactive for a very long time. It is like asking Ronaldo to put on the Brazilian jersey many years after retirement. What will you expect him to add to the squad?
“Secondly, when he challenged me, he was a board member of the Boxing Control Board, regulators of the sport in the country. How then does that come about? Someone who is supposed to sanction your fights now wants to fight you? It speaks loud volumes of a personal vendetta.
“Anyway, I can take him anywhere, any day and any time, provided he does what’s expected of him.
“First, he has to be a national champion and go up the ladder until he is in my league. I will certainly make a date with him if he fulfils that,” said Manyuchi.