The Sunday Mail
GOSPEL artist Mathias Mhere might not have had Charles Manyuchi in mind when he penned his popular song “Areka” in 2013.
But the Zimbabwean boxing star has adopted Mhere’s track as his ring entrance song and tonight “Areka” will be playing in the background when Manyuchi walks into the DIVS Arena in Ekaterinburg, Russia for a non-title fight against Magomed Kurbanov.
The legendary Floyd Mayweather Jr used hip-hop music, at one time Lil Wayne’s No Worries as a ring entrance song while Mike Tyson mostly trusted the late 2 Pac’s tunes when he was at his peak in the 1990s. And Manyuchi, who claims to be a devout Christian, says Mhere’s track gets him going.
“Every boxer needs a song that arouses emotions, a song that also brings out his national identity and I settled for Mathias Mhere’s “Areka” because I know with God I can win my battles,” the 28-year-old Manyuchi told The Sunday Mail Sport from Russia.
Mhere is aware Manyuchi is inspired by his song but the gospel musician is yet to talk to the boxing star.
“We haven’t spoken yet but I know he (Manyuchi) is a good guy. Sometimes I read about his exploits in newspapers and I am glad he is preaching God’s mighty worldwide using the song Areka. “Areka is a song that I wrote in a bid to try and put across the power of God. When God is in control, it’s certain you will win your battles.
“And I am sure if God leads Charles (Manyuchi) he will win his battle in Russia on Sunday (today),” Mhere said.
Manyuchi has been in Russia for a week now and his trainer Mike “Weaver” Zulu is confident his boy can beat Russian number one super welterweight boxer Kurbanov.
The 23-year-old Kurbanov is also a holder of the WBO International welterweight title and should Manyuchi beat the Russian, then the Zimbabwean will certainly return to international boxing limelight.
“We have been here before, this is the same venue where we had our last fight for the WBC Silver welterweight title in 2016 and I am confident the boy can do it,” said Zulu.
“We are here in Russia for a win, we are not here to play. Internationally we have to bounce back. I have put everything in place and it’s up to the boxer to execute and make sure we return to the limelight of international boxing.”
Kurbanov has an untainted record of 14 wins, 11 of them by way of knockout since turning professional in 2015.