Manyuchi courts SA’s van Heedern


WORLD and African welterweight champions Charles Manyuchi is courting South Africa’s Chris van Heedern for the second defence of his African Boxing Union (ABU) belt.



Manyuchi through his Zambian stable Oriental Quarries Promotion, has written to van Heedern’s handlers for the fight that is supposed to be held within the next three months.

The Zimbabwean claimed the ABU title from Burkinabe’s Patrice Toke last June before defending it against Isaac Sowah from Ghana three months later.

Now, van Heedern has been lined up for another defence bout that would likely be staged in South Africa.

Van Heedern, a World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) champion last year upstaged European welterweight champion Matthew Hatton to defend the IBO title in a one-sided affair that was counted as one of his career highlights.

The 26-year-old South African boasts of 20 wins, one loss and a draw against Manyuchi’s 17 wins one draw and a loss.

Van Heedern’s last fight was February’s non-title bout against Mexican Cosme Rivera in Hollywood, US, where he won.

“I know van Heedern very well and he is an acclaimed fighter,” Manyuchi said.

“But I am ready to take him on and I know I will beat him. Right now we are just waiting for a response from him because we have requested for a fight. My dream is to get to (Floyd) Mayweather and for that to happen I have to pass through people like van Heedern.”

Manyuchi’s recent exploits claiming the scalp of Ghanaian Patrick Allotey in a World Boxing Council (WBC) title has got the pugilist setting his eyes on the undefeated Mayweather.

Manyuchi left the country spellbound after defeating Allotey in round eight after fighting for six rounds with a cracked index finger against the Ghanaian who had arrived in Zambia unbeaten in 30 bouts, having won 24 of them via knockouts.

His ambition of fighting Maywether is, however, not an easy task as he has to again defend the ABU title by June and the WBC in the next six months.

He would graduate into the WBC silver title before qualifying to trade leather with Mayweather.

His next WBC contestant would be picked from the world’s top-10 as he draws nearer to money-spinning bouts.

“I am not there for money,” Manyuchi said. “For now it is about putting my country and name on the world map. I can go for anyone in the world. I can feel it.”

If Manyuchi succeeds in his Mayweather bid, he would be the third African to face the American whose professional record includes fighting and beating two Africans — Uganda’s Justin Juuko (1999) and South Africa’s Phillip Ndou in 2003.