Zimbabwe: Coronavirus Shatters Manyuchi's WBC Dream

10 April 2020

Charles Manyuchi will have to wait a little longer to take a crack at the World Boxing Council title this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The middleweight pugilist was scheduled to defend his World Boxing Federation title against Ugandan Mohamed Sebyala at the Harare International Conference last weekend.

But, the bout, like all sporting events worldwide, had to be put on hold as a precaution.

The Chivhu-based fighter had revealed his desire to make a return to the WBC, where he was once a silver champion, after his duel against Sebyala.

But the showdown against the Ugandan, which he will be using to justify his case for a return to the WBC, is looking increasingly in doubt as the COVID-19 scourge is tightening its grip on the African continent.

Already, the WBF have compromised, allowing Manyuchi to hold on to his title, which he won in September last year against Diego Diaz Gallardo of Argentina, at home.

Ordinarily, WBF holders are required to defend their crown within six months.

"It's hard but this is the reality. No one ever predicted we would be in this situation we find ourselves in," said Manyuchi.

"But, we cannot do anything about it. We can only look up to the heavens for salvation.

"Personally, I would have wanted to take on Sebyala like was originally planned and get over it as quickly as possible so that I would concentrate on returning to the WBC."

"But, there are things we don't have any control over. There comes a time when we cannot do anything as human beings. This is the time. It's about safety. We cannot talk of anything while in bad health."

Manyuchi hasn't reduced his training intensity as he hopes to fight Sebyala as soon as the coronavirus emergency is declared over by authorities.

He is training alone at his home.

"There is absolutely no reason why I should change my training. I am doing what I am supposed to be doing."

"I am training like I am preparing for a fight which is on as soon as tomorrow. You just never know, the pandemic could be under control anytime and it could be declared safe to do sporting activities anytime."

"I shouldn't be found wanting on any aspect of my game. I am training on my own at home."

Manyuchi said he is training with more emphasis on his weight, which has of late been his major worry.

"You know, I need to keep my weight under check. I won't have any difficulties defeating Sebyala in the ring.

"I will deal with him within distance but, I have to carry the required mass. The last time I had some difficulties with my weight and the fight was close to being called off."

"I had to embark on a two-hour taxing exercise to shed off the excess weight. I don't want to face the same challenges this time around. That's why I am working with that in mind."

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