Zimbabwe: Singapore Debacle Still Haunts Manyuchi

BEFORE his defeat to Uzbek professional boxer Qudratillo Abduqaxorov in Singapore two years ago, former World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi was arguably one of the hottest properties in world boxing.

But on that fateful March 25 night, in a forgettable two minutes and 56 seconds, the Zimbabwean boxing icon lost everything including the world title and life has never been the same since then.

An attempt at a comeback was foiled by another loss to Magomed Kurbanov with a unanimous decision in a non-title fight, in Ekaterinburg, Russia, last August.

Manyuchi has chosen Africa Day to attempt another comeback, this time in a title fight against Argentine Pablo Ezekiel Acosta at the Harare International

Conference Centre.

The two pugilists will be exchanging leather for the BGU/UBC Inter-continental unification title.

"This is my comeback fight since I lost my title two years ago. It is the first step to my restoration as one of the best boxers in the world, that's why we

have dubbed it 'Restoration'. I want to show the world that I am down, but not out," Manyuchi told The Sports Hub.

Restoration for Manyuchi is about putting right the wrongs of the Singapore debacle.

"I want to go back to where I lost in Singapore and I want to find out how I lost that fight. The restoration will not be complete until I challenge the boxer

I lost my title to and beat him," Manyuchi added.

"I was once a champion and no one can take that away from me. Even now I am referred to as former champion and I believe I can get back to the top. I am still

young, I am only 29 and I have a long way to go before retirement which is an advantage," he said.

The boxing event, set for May 25, sponsored by local phone company Delight Credit (DC), has 12 other fights for the Charles Manyuchi Boxing Academy athletes

scheduled on the bout card.

At least the Abduqaxorov defeat gave Manyuchi the opportunity to work on his academy, which was launched in December 2017.

"The academy was just in my minds years ago. I knew that one day I would want to leave a legacy with the name Charles Manyuchi Boxing Academy.

"The idea is to take the young people off the streets at the same time targeting talented boxers from right around the country. Boxing was dead in Zimbabwe. We

are trying to raise a dead sport in the country.

"I know how to become a champion and I know that I can produce world champions over time. None of my fighters have lost so far and I am happy the academy is

doing very well," he said.

Other corporates such as NetOne and Dendairy are also supporting the event.

But it is DC that has committed to helping Manyuchi's academy in the long run.

"This partnership is going a long way, especially with his academy because he is now grooming fighters. He was recently in Zambia and none of his academy fighters have lost, so we are going to support him through and through," DC chief executive Kevin Musekiwa said.

"We believe Manyuchi's boxing academy will become the biggest academy in Africa and we are going to help them achieve that," he added.

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