CHARLES Manyuchi’s coach Mike Zulu says they will make efforts to get the World Boxing Council welterweight international champion fight before his home crowd in Harare if the bout against British boxer Amir Khan materialises. Zulu said while it was still early to talk about the bout, the management at Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions will sit down to decide on the proposal to have the boxing match in Zimbabwe.
Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions, who have helped put Manyuchi on the world map, are based in Zambia and the 26-year-old has often held his fights in that country.
Manyuchi defended his WBC welterweight international belt for the second time two weeks ago against Italian Gianluca Frezza and is now gunning for the silver belt currently held by Khan.
American Floyd Mayweather is the holder of the top belt in the category.
Zulu said it was possible to hold the match against Khan in Zimbabwe, but challenged all Zimbabweans and the corporate world here to chip in with sponsorship since it was expensive to arrange and prepare a fight of such magnitude.
“When we came back here after defending the title in Italy, my colleague Chris Malunga proposed that issue to say that we must promote Charles challenging Amir Khan the Briton here in Harare because it’s high time the people here watched him and know who Charles Manyuchi is.
“They just hear about him, he is a darling to Zambian boxing fans. But we also want him to show his best here.
“That is not my area; it will be taken over by the administrators, especially Chris Malunga, who is in that line.
“He is going to come and put forward the proposal and do everything so that it is possible we can stage this fight here,” said Zulu.
Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions have played a key role in helping Manyuchi realise the dream of being a world champion and yesterday they were praised by President Mugabe.
The President also praised the Zambian people and their leadership for the support.
Speaking on the sidelines of the banquet held to celebrate Manyuchi’s achievements, Zulu said the boxer has matured fast and the stable was convinced he has the capacity to face the best in his category.
“When Charles came to join us we drew up a programme because we knew there was something in him. We started our programme and we took him to the African Boxing Union, which we got and later on he defended it two, three times,” said Zulu.
“We thought, at least, he is getting there and he is a disciplined sportsman and looking at him we said let’s try him for WBC, which we gunned for, and got.
“As far as we are concerned, he has defended it three times now and we think it’s high time we tried to go for the second belt which is the WBC silver, second to the top one held by Mayweather.
“We can’t just jump and go for Mayweather, no ways. WBC doesn’t operate like that. We as Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions are very much in good terms with the WBC.
“So, we have drawn up a programme for Charles, of which now we think and know that the WBC silver is in our sights and that’s our next target.
“Soon it should be there. What matters is we have to look for sponsorship. Promoting boxing is something big, something hectic; it’s difficult, it’s not easy.
“People just see these guys fighting, but it involves a lot of things — training, financial-wise you have to look for sponsors here and there until you have all the things in place.
“Amir Khan is a renowned boxer, second to Mayweather, and Charles is the third in the brackets. Whatever his ranking, he is holding the third belt. So, fighting Khan is not a problem.”
Acting Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Supa Mandiwnzira said sport was a unifying factor which brings people of different backgrounds together.
Mandiwanzira, who is holding fort in the absence of Andrew Langa, who is currently hospitalised in Bulawayo, hailed Government for their support of the National Youth Games.
Manyuchi is a product of that programme.
“The sport of boxing has had its share of great moments and challenges. The Zimbabwe National Youth Games continue to be the source of talent within the provinces.
“Young boys and girls have taken interest and are developing well with the support of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee and the Amateur Boxing Board.
“While industry and commerce is experiencing some challenges which affect the corporate sponsorship of sport development, Government’s support of the Zimbabwe National Youth Games is very useful.
“Charles Manyuchi is a beneficiary of the Zimbabwe National Youth Games programme,” said Mandiwanzira.