ZIMBABWE welterweight boxing champion Charles Manyuchi continued to shine on the international boxing scene after successfully defending his African Boxing Union (ABU) welterweight title against Ghana’s Isaac Sowah in Lusaka, Zambia, on Saturday.
The Masvingo-born boxer won the title in June when he knocked out Burkina Faso champion Patrice Sou Toké to claim the continental title in the fifth round of the 12-round bout.
An elated Manyuchi spoke in a telephone interview from Zambia yesterday.
“I am very happy that I have managed to defend my title. The fight went well because I knocked him out in the third round. I was well prepared for the fight,” he said.
The victory silenced Sowah after the Ghanaian boxer was quoted in the Zambian press saying he would finish the fight in the seventh round via a knockout.
Sowah was also reported to have said the ABU title fight against Manyuchi was a formality as he was too good for the “Zambian” — seemingly unaware that he is a Zimbabwean.
“It was a tough challenge considering that Sowah has fought more fights than me and has a good record.
“He was talking too much instead of talking in the ring. I was able to win the fight because I was more powerful and skilful than him. I am happy that I also got a lot of support from the Zambians during the fight,” he said.
Manyuchi said his next target will be the World Boxing Council (WBC) title.
“I want to contest for the WBC welterweight title. We are still organising our programme, but I will fight Patrick Allotey from Ghana in December or next January. I intend to continue working hard,” he said.
Manyuchi’s manager Chris Malunga from Zambia’s Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions heaped praise on the boxer.
“Manyuchi put up a very good fight to defeat Sowah. However, I feel that the government of Zimbabwe needs to honour him.
“They must do something because Manyuchi is a great boxer who deserves to be recognised and assisted. We want to approach the Zimbabwean embassy on this issue.
“If he gets the recognition he deserves that can also motivate him. Malawi boxer Isaac Chilemba is based in South Africa, but gets full support from his country,” he said.
Malunga could not be drawn to reveal how much the boxer had received for winning the fight.
“He is going to contest for the WBC title fight. But that involves a lot of money, that is why I am saying that the government is supposed to help the boxer. I cannot reveal how much Manyuchi got after winning the fight,” he said.
Manyuchi is also managed by Eddison Zvobgo (Jr).