The Sunday Mail
WORLD Boxing Council International welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi, who made a sensational reunion with his Zambian promoters Oriental Quarries last week, is now set to defend his title in May, The Sunday Mail has learnt.
The 26-year-old Manyuchi is expected to sign a new contract with Oriental Quarries next week amid indications that the document will have stricter conditions than the one that bound the two parties until November 19, 2015.
The new contract will also be studied by Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane, who was instrumental in bringing the two parties together after a sensational fallout last year.
Manyuchi’s career had been in limbo since the expiry of the contract as he struggled to find a new promoter for his mandatory title defence that had initially been set for this month.
The WBC has been informed of Manyuchi’s plight and waivered the mandatory defence – for now.
The Sunday Mail can reveal that Chris Malunga of Oriental Quarries, who met Minister Hlongwane a fortnight ago in Harare, has already gotten down to serious business.
Although Malunga could not be contacted for a comment, a source close to both Oriental Quarries and Manyuchi claimed that Malunga was pushing for a May bout.
“He is pushing for April or May, communication with the World Boxing Council is in motion and (Oriental Quarries) are also looking at the possibility of hosting Manyuchi’s title defence in Harare.
“The new contract has already been drafted, but it will also go through the minister. This time they (Oriental Quarries) want things done differently.
“They are worried about what happened during the previous contract and will tighten the screws a bit in the new contract,” said a source.
The Post of Zambia also reported during the week that Manyuchi was seriously counseled by manager Malunga and trainer Mike Zulu after the parties agreed to reunite.
Manyuchi, who usually needs at least two months in camp before a major fight, resumed serious training under local trainer Ali Phiri at Body Active Gym in Borrowdale, Harare three weeks ago.
The WBC International welterweight champion could not be drawn into revealing much about the touted bout, preferring to concentrate on regaining his sharpness.
Manyuchi’s last fight was in July 2015 when he successfully defended his title, for the second time, by knocking out Gianluca Freeza of Italy in the sixth round.
“What I can confirm is that I am going back to Oriental Quarries, what is left is the official signing of a new contract. As for my next fight, I cannot talk about that issue because it is my promoter’s portfolio.
“I am concentrating getting back to full fitness so that whatever is arranged, it happens when I am fit and ready,” he said.
The Zimbabwean pugilist rose to international prominence on March 15, 2014 when he clinched the WBC International welterweight title via an eighth round knockout of Ghana’s Patrick Allotey.
Manyuchi, who has won his previous seven fights by way of a technical knockout, pummeled Devis Caceres of Colombia into submission after only three rounds in his first title defence on November 23, 2014.
His victory against Freeza last July improved his record to 23-2-2.