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MANYUCHI SETS SIGHTS ON GOLD

ZIMBABWE’S boxing superstar, Charles Manyuchi’s has set his sights on challenging for the World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight gold title, previously held by the now retired Floyd Mayweather Jr. BY HENRY MHARA

Manyuchi is the holder of the WBC welterweight silver title and is ranked number three in the world in that division.

His handlers, Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP), believe Manyuchi, who will defend his title in Singapore early next year, is good enough to challenge for the WBC welterweight gold title.

The title is currently held by Danny Garcia, who took over after Mayweather’s retirement.

Speaking at a Press conference in Harare yesterday, OQBP operations manager, Chris Malunga said he would be travelling to Miami for the 54th WBC annual world convention from December 11 to 17, and will use the opportunity to make Manyuchi’s case for the gold title.

For Manyuchi to have a go at Garcia, he will have to first fight either Amir Khan of Britain or American Andre Berto, who are ranked number one and two, respectively in the WBC welterweight division and are the first and second contenders for the gold title holder.

“After defending this title, our plan is to have Charles Manyuchi fighting Andre Berto, who is number two and since Charles is number three because it gives us an advantage when we bid,” Malunga said. “Khan has already fought Garcia before and failed, so if we get the fight against Berto, the winner is likely to have a chance to fight Garcia. The WBC silver title was created as a gateway to the WBC gold, so if Charles defeats Berto, then he automatically becomes the contender for the gold title.”

He added: “I’m going to Miami next week to make sure that Charles gets close to the WBC gold, and to make sure that Africa is given a chance. The number of WBC champions are very few in Africa and we feel it is in the interests of fairness that Charles is given a chance to fight for that title.”

Malunga also dispelled claims Manyuchi had lost his title.

Reports last week suggested that Mayuchi had been stripped off his title, which was handed over to Russian Dmitry Mikhaylenko (interim welterweight silver champion) after failing to defend it within the stipulated six-month period.

Manyuchi defeated Mikhaylenko to win the title.

“My boxer panicked when he got the news. I told him there was nothing like that. I want to confirm that Manyuchi is still the WBC welterweight silver champion. Dmitry is an interim champion, which is created to get a better opponent for the WBC silver champion and it does not mean that once you become an interim champion, then you automatically become the champion.”

Manyuchi will defend his title in Singapore with a fight against Asian champion, Qudratilo Abduqaxorov of Uzbekistan on February 17.

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