By Sports Reporter
WORLD Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight medallist Charles Manyuchi today faces a mammoth task of ending Dimitri Mikhaylenko’s unbeaten record when the duo fence off in the vacant WBC (Silver) belt at the DIVS Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
The Zimbabwean, who signed a new five-year deal with his Zambian handlers Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP) in March, has been undergoing intensive training ahead of today’s bout which promises to be explosive.
Mikhaylenko boasts of a record 21 victories without a loss with nine of them ending through technical knockouts while Manyuchi has 21 fights, 11 knockouts, two losses and one draw but the Zimbabwean is rated the ninth best welterweight boxer on the world rankings, a place higher than Mikhaylenko.
OQBP manager Chris Malunga, who travelled with Manyuchi, said his fighter was ready to rumble and make not only Zimbabwe and Zambia proud, but Africa as a whole.
“We are more than ready for the bout and very happy with everything here and just looking forward to the bout. He was a bit out of shape, but we have managed to work on him and I am more than confident that he is now in great shape and his mind-set is excellent. “We know he has not fought much since last year, so this is why we brought him to camp as early as possible and I think it has worked. This is a big fight. Zimbabwe wants this title; Zambia wants this title and indeed Africa wants this title and I am confident we will deliver,” said Malunga.
After successfully defending his World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight bronze title twice, Manyuchi will take the next step in his promising career today which may come at a price.
Manyuchi first became international WBC king in December 2014 when he floored Ghanaian Patrick Allottey in the eighth round.
A month later, he again floored his challenger Columbian Devis Cassares in the third round.
His victory over Giulia of Italy in July last year saw President Robert Mugabe rewarding the boxer with $50,000.
Manyuchi last month reunited with the Zambian promoters following lengthy negotiations spearheaded by Zimbabwe’s Sport and Recreation minister Makhosini Hlongwane.
The boxer was running the risk of losing his WBC welterweight title as there were no Zimbabwean promoters willing to host his mandatory title defence.
Meanwhile, WBC has named Canada’s Mike Griffin to handle the fight with judges Alexander Kalinkin from Russia, Lateef Muiss from Nigeria, and Barry Lindenman from USA while Vladimir Laptev from Russia will supervise the bout assisted by Oksana Semenishina of Lithuania.