CHARLES MANYUCHI’S camp is buzzing with confidence ahead of the boxer’s attempt at the vacant World Boxing Council silver welterweight title in Russia on May 6. By Langton Nyakwenda – Sunday Mail
Manyuchi’s coach Mike Zulu revealed they had settled on a game plan they believed could stop undefeated Russian champion Dmitry Mikhaylenko for the WBC Silver title, which was vacated by Britain’s Amir Khan.
The Manyuchi-Mikhaylenko prize fight is the main event on a four-bout card slated for the DIVS Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Manyuchi’s entourage, comprising Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions manager Chris Malunga, coach Zulu and backroom staff, leaves Zambia for Yekaterinburg on Tuesday.
Zulu, who has successfully dealt with Manyuchi’s weight issues, is upbeat about the Zimbabwean’s chances.
“I have prepared Charles well for this big fight and we are winning. The boxer looks sharp and ready for the fight,” said the renowned Zambian trainer.
“We are serious people; when Manyuchi started camp he was overweight and looked out of shape. But he knows what we want as Oriental Quarries. He has worked hard and I can now certify him fit for the bout.
“We did some research on the Russian, we know his style and we have been working on perfecting the timing and ways of exploiting his weaknesses. A reliable game plan is in place, I am confident Manyuchi will be the WBC Silver champion.”
The 26-year-old Manyuchi went into camp nearly 13kg over the welterweight limit of 66,7kg, but as of Wednesday last week he was only 900g out of range.
“It has been hard work through and through, no time to relax. I can’t afford to lose this God sent opportunity, which is why I am not looking at Mikhaylenko’s history. The Russian will fall in his own backyard,” said Manyuchi.
Mikhaylenko, meanwhile, is looking beyond Manyuchi with his eye set on WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia.
The 29-year-old’s Russian latest victory came in January when he cruised to a 10-round win over American Karim Mayfield in Canada, and his camp believes he will be too much for Manyuchi.
However, according to ABC News Mikhaylenko did nothing to impress against Mayfield who was thrust in as a late replacement.
“In the end, the change of styles posed no difficulties for Mikhaylenko whose jab kept Mayfield off balance in a clear victory but one that was not all that impressive,” wrote an ABC News correspondent in January.
CompuBox punch statistics put the Russian’s accuracy rate for that fight at 29 percent after he landed 220 of 756 punches.
Such statistics should give Manyuchi and his camp some hope ahead of the Zimbabwean pugilist’s defining night.