The Sunday Mail
EXACTLY 260 days ago, Charles Manyuchi cut a lone figure in Singapore’s OCBC Arena change room, a few moments after he had lost his WBC Silver welterweight title in just 2 minutes 56 seconds.
Uzbek rising boxer Qudratillo Abduqaxorov became the new champion in Singapore on March 25 while Manyuchi returned home and retreated into a shell.
But last Wednesday, there was something in Manyuchi’s smile that portrayed someone with renewed hope as the former champion interacted with school kids at Mhizha Primary School in Harare’s Highfield suburb.
Manyuchi was in Highfield to launch boxing at the Primary School but he also took time to hint at his immediate plans to return to the top.
The 28-year-old boxer is determined to start all over again, beginning with the WBC International welterweight title fight set for the Harare International Conference Centre on January 26, 2018.
Manyuchi won the WBC International belt in March 2015 and successfully defended it twice before moving up to the WBC Silver in May 2016.
“I turned 28 last week, so ndichirimo mugame,” declared Manyuchi who is ranked 18th on the WBC ratings.
His record now stands at 21-3-1 after he won a non-title fight against Sherif Kasongo of DRC in Zambia last July.
“I might be down but I am not out, and preparations have begun for a restart program which will see me fighting for the WBC International again.
“I can’t reveal the name of the opponent now but contracts have been signed,” he said.
Manyuchi’s bout will be part of the Friday Fight Night Pan African boxing series, an event organised by South Africa’s Kalakoda Boxing in conjunction with Kwese Sports.
Harare hosted its first edition at the Harare International Conference Centre on August 25. And Manyuchi will return to the HICC, over a year after he knocked out Jose Agustin Feria in front of a jubilant crowd.
“It will be good to fight in front of my home crowd again, the last time I was here it was in October 2016 and I beat Feria so I am hoping it will be a repeat.
“Boxing is my life and I also want to help upcoming boxers.
“That is why I am here at Mhizha Primary school and that is why I have started my own Academy back in Chivhu,” Manyuchi revealed.
The Charles Manyuchi Sports Academy is set to be launched in the capital on Thursday with about eight amateur boxers already enrolled. Evans Usaiwevhu, Caroline Dube, Future Maziya, Brendon Dennis, Aliah Phiri, Hassan Milanzi, Majoni Majoni and Zibusiso Nyoni have passed the test.
“I have been travelling across the country scouting for boxing talent and I have discovered these eight from Bulawayo, Harare and Masvingo.
“The boxers will be trained by Ali Phiri, who is also my local trainer at the Academy in Chivhu,” said Manyuchi.