CHARLES MANYUCHI has pledged to knock out Russian Dmitry “The Mechanic” Mikhaylenko and claim the World Boxing Council Silver welterweight title as a thank you gesture to his Zambian promoters Oriental Quarries. By Langton Nyakwenda
The 26-year-old Manyuchi – who holds the WBC International title – squares off against Mikhaylenko at DIVS Hotel in Yekaterinburg, Russia on May 6 for the silver belt vacated by Great Britain’s Amir Khan.
The Zimbabwean boxing star reunited with Zambian promoters Oriental Quarries on February 19, exactly three months after severing of ties amid contractual disagreements. Now Manyuchi wants to use his forthcoming fight to “thank the Zambians” for rescuing his career.
Manyuchi’s career appeared in limbo after Oriental did not renew his contract and the boxer struggled to get new handlers, raising fears he would be stripped of his WBC belt for failing to stage a mandatory title defence.
All the negative vibes appear to have changed to something far more harmonious with the return of the vastly experienced Oriental Quarries who have organised the Mikhaylenko bout.
Mikhaylenko, who clinched the US Boxing Association welterweight title on January 30, is ranked the 14th-best welterweight in the world and is unbeaten in his 21 fights.
Manyuchi, who is rated 43rd in the world and last fought in July 2015, is not reading much into the Russian’s stats.
“That has always been my wish … to meet a world class boxer and prove the doubters wrong. I can beat Mikhaylenko in his own backyard.
“I do not care about his ranking. I have to do this for Oriental Quarries,” declared Manyuchi from his base in Zambia last week.
“My training is going according to schedule and I am relieved to be back with Oriental Quarries. I want to repay the faith they showed in me by knocking out the Russian. It doesn’t matter where we are fighting as long as we are only two in the ring we have the same chance.”
In his last bout Manyuchi knocked out Gianlucca Frezza in Italy in the sixth round on July 17, 2015 to defend his title. Mikhaylenko defeated American Karim Mayfield in Canada two months ago.
Manyuchi reckons the bout in Russia will also be settled by a knockout.
“I am sure by round eight one of the two boxers would have hit the canvass and I pray it will be him. I will teach him a big lesson. Remember, boxing and karate are our national talents. Believe me, I will surprise the boxing world on May 6,” vowed Manyuchi.
After completing the Italian job in style last July, Manyuchi now attempts to become the Russian Tsar with victory in Yekaterinburg.