THE boxing fraternity is rallying behind Zimbabwe champion, Charles Manyuchi, who is set to defend the African Boxing Union welterweight title against Ghana’s Isaac Sowah in Zambia on Saturday.
The Masvingo boxer, also the national welterweight champion, won the title in June when he knocked Burkina Faso champion Patrice Sou Tokee out to claim the continental title in the fifth round of a 12-round bout.
Former Zimbabwe Commonwealth champion Arifonso Zvenyika told Southern Eye Sport he was confident Manyuchi could retain the continental title.
“Manyuchi has got the potential to retain his title because he is a good boxer.
“If he listens to his trainers then nothing can stop him. I will be rallying behind him because I believe he can go further,” he said.
Mordecai Donga, Zimbabwe’s former light and middleweight boxing champion, also said Manyuchi would not disappoint.
“Manyuchi is under the good hands of Chris Malunga and he trains in a fully equipped gym while his diet is also monitored — which gives him an advantage.
“I believe that he has trained well and he will definitely win. He also enjoys support in Zambia which has become his second home,” he said.
Veteran boxing coach Phillip “Striker” Ndlovu also said Manyuchi had what it took to retain the title.
“From what I have seen Manyuchi achieve from amateur level until now, I think he can keep the title. He has shown a lot of commitment and focus from the days at amateur level, so nothing can stop him from defending his title.
“He is hungry for success so I see him retaining it,” he said.
Before his departure to South Africa last month in preparation for the fight, Manyuchi cleared the air on his relationship with Zambia’s Oriental Quarries Boxing Stable and his local manager Eddison Zvobgo (Jr) after confusion reigned on who managed him.
Manyuchi said Zvobgo (Jr) is his local manager.
He has an external contract with Oriental Quarries Boxing Stable in Zambia.
According to boxing website boxrec, Sowah has fought 20 times winning 14 fights with 10 coming from knockouts, losing six while Manyuchi has fought 14 times.
He has won 11 with five of the fights on knockouts, lost twice and drawn once.
Manyuchi has also set his sight on the prestigious World Boxing Council welterweight title.