by Josh Munthali
World Boxing Federation Middleweight champion Charles Manyuchi will defend his title against Ugandan Muhamad Sebyala in WBF/WABA supreme Middleweight unification title and winner take-all tussle at the Harare International Conference Centre on the 4th of next month.
Manyuchi who has dismissed his two South American, first a third round knockout of Argentine opponent Diego Gallardo and then Pablo Ezequiel Acosta, via a fifth round TKO, all at the HICC in the capital has to defend his belt again opponents at the HICC in the capital has to defend his belt against the little known east African opponent Sebyala.
Addressing a media conference in the capital to announce the fight, Manyuchi said he was more than ready and has been preparing in the last three months.
‘I am more than ready for the fight. I have been training for past three months and recently went into camp to polish up and I am almost ready. I am only doing some final touches here and there. I am fit and raring to go, and have no weight problems this time as I have already shed excess weight,’ said Manyuchi in response to a question.
‘the belt will remain here in Zimbabwe, my weight is a challenge, am in great shape and would like to warn the Ugandan that he will be entering a lion’s den and should come thoroughly prepared to be beaten,’ said Manyuchi.
Asked about the questionable choice of his last few opponents, Manyuchi said he was just a boxer and the boxing bodies sanction matches.
‘I am just a boxer, I do not choose the opponents, it is the sanctioning boxing bodies whether WBF, GBU, ABU, WBO Africa who sanction the fights and titles. There are people called matchmakers who are involved in the selection process, my job is to fight and make sure that I win and that is what I do best. There was a time I was down but not out, am now back to my best,’ said the former WBC Silver welterweight champion and formers Sportsperson of the year.
Little is known of Uganda, Sebyala except that he is a trialist for the Universal Boxing Union (UBU) Inter-Continental middleweight title, the African Boxing Union (ABU), World Boxing Organisation Africa (WBOA) and the World Boxing Association (WABA) titles.
Charles Manyuchi Academy spokesperson Bridget Paradza said apart from the main bout a WBF and WABA Unification title, Hassan Milanzi will fight Obert Makaika of Malawi in another WBF Africa title, while Evans Usaiwevhu will trade leather with Max Moshi of Tanzania in a WABA Africa title. Another Charles Manyuchi Academy boxer Tinashe Majoni will face Aubrey Masamba of Malawi in another WBF Africa title.
Other supporting bouts will feature John Ancdrew versus Adonai Abraham over four rounds, Alfred Madzivadondo fight Blessing Bhasera over 6 six rounds. Zambia’s Lolita Muzeya will fight Malawi’s Lukia Ali over six rounds while Phillip Musariri faces Basila Ngoza of Zambia over six rounds and Tatenda Biningu versus Bongani Makowora over eight rounds.
‘Our sole objective is to adequately prepare Charles for whoever has been decided upon as his next opponent.
‘In other words we are not worried about the nationality, race or creed of the opponent. Our task is to make Charles prepare enough to score a victory so that we take our strides step by step to regain our status on the world boxing ranks,’ said Paradza.
Paradza said that as the Charles Manyuchi Academy they were proud of their achievements and will continue to play their part by hosting a number of tournaments, some of them outside the capital city with the objective of decentralising the sport of boxing.
So far, the Academy has hosted tournaments in Harare, Masvingo, Chivhu where the project has its roots.
Zimbabwe Boxing & Wrestling Control Board secretary-General Lawrence Zimbudzana said they were grateful to the Charles Manyuchi Academy for keeping the sport of boxing alive during this challenging and difficult economic environment.
‘We are truly grateful to the Charles Manyuchi Academy for hosting tournaments and the forthcoming WBF and WABA Unification title fight. They continue to invest in the growth and development of boxing and their high level of commitment, professionalism and discipline has enabled the sport to attract some corporate sponsorship despite the difficult economic situation the country is facing. Corporates want to see order and want to be associated with success,’ said Zimbudzana.
He said the Zimbabwe National Boxing & Wrestling Control Board is making frantic effort to organise an all-stakeholders indaba to discuss the future and all concerns and hopeful take the sport to another level.
‘There is need to address the thorny issue of sponsorships and partnerships, infrastructure development and human capacity training including administrators, coaches, referees and develop the sector holistically,’ said Zimbudzana.
He said the ZNB&WCB would like to see the sport spread to all provinces in the country.
Charles Manyuchi Academy has also collaborated with Gateway Streams who will offer the official online ticketing platform although some tickets would be made available at two points the HICC and the Ambassador hotel.
by Josh Munthali