WORLD Boxing Council (WBC) international welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi yesterday lambasted three boxers who represented Zimbabwe in the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games boxing finals at the Large City Hall saying they are not boxers but novices.
Zimbabwe scooped one gold medal from Temba Trade Nkomozabo in the flyweight category who won on points against Ogaketswe Kutlwano from Botswana.
Manyuchi took a swipe at Itai Mutsairo, Herbert Rhumbidzo Marembo and Kumbirai Ndaba following their defeats after getting a bye to the finals.
Mutsairo lost to Nthuthuko Nyawo from South Africa in a middleweight contest while Marembo was dismissed by Max Ipinge from Namibia in a light heavyweight bout, with Ndaba losing to Manuel Alego Danilo Leite from Angola in the heavyweight division.
“I don’t know these Zimbabwean boxers,” Manyuchi said.
“I am an amateur boxing coach and I was participating in the Zimbabwe Youth Games. I don’t even know these boxers. I only know one who won gold medal today (Nkomozabo). Masvingo province won seven gold medals in the National Youth Games. They were supposed to fight here, but I am surprised that I’m seeing new faces. They are not new boxers, but novices.
He added: “It is a shame to Zimbabwe as a country. It’s better to have one boxer, than seven or eight useless people. If those guys who won gold in Masvingo were here they would have won. I don’t want to present any medals because they are not boxers.
“I want to give medals to those who won in Masvingo. This is not a new thing, because it happened to me. I once won four gold medals in the National Youth Games, but I never participated in any international fights.
“Some are paying to fight. There is corruption in boxing.”
Manyuchi presented the light welterweight medals together with Sport and Recreation Commission director-general Charles Nhemachena although he was reluctant following the dismal performance by the three.
Nkomozabo piled pressure on Kutlwano seconds into the fight. Kutlwano tried to fight back with hard punches, but the Zimbabwean ducked.
Nkomozabo’s uppercuts seemed to cause trouble for Kutlwano as he could do nothing, but try to block.
The Zimbabwean seemed eager to knock him out.
Nkomozabo had the crowd fully behind him and that gave him the urge to punch Kutlwano even more.
In the third round, the crowd urged Nkomozabo on, telling him to knock his opponent. Kutlwano was cornered and that seemed to be the last straw as the Zimbabwean continued with uppercuts.
In another bout, Nyawo was jittery at first. However, he quickly recovered and punched Mutsairo who did not last as he could not withstand the pressure, eventually being knocked out in the second round after the referee had earlier made an eight count.
Marembo, whose body language seemed unconvincing from the start, was next. He seemed to lack confidence.
Marembo was punched by Ipinge in the first round and he fell down. The medical personnel who checked on the boxer indicated that he should not continue with the fight.