Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
CHARLES MANYUCHI would have loved to defend the World Boxing Federation middleweight crown in Chivhu but will have to do that at the City Sports Centre in Harare.
The former World Boxing Council silver welterweight champion is scheduled to fight Muhamad Sebyala of Ghana, in his bid to retain the WBF belt, on April 3.
Having staged two of his last home matches in Harare, Manyuchi had hoped to face the highly-rated Ghanaian in Chivhu.
“Chivhu is my home and it would have been ideal to have this fight right there,’’ he said.
“There are so many fans of Charles Manyuchi in that town and in the surrounding communities.
“I thought they deserved a chance to watch one of my biggest matches right in the town.
“However, we have to do this in Harare, which I think is not very far away. The most important thing is that the fight is in Zimbabwe. I don’t remember the last time I lost a title fight on home soil. It’s a huge advantage fighting at home. Zimbabweans are amazing, they have always backed me wherever I have boxed, even outside the country.’’
Manyuchi won the WBF title after dismissing Argentine fighter Diego Gallardo via a third round TKO at the Harare International Conference Centre in September last year.
The 30-year old has not been into the ring since then. His coaches have drafted a rigorous training schedule meant to condition the boxer ahead of what promises to be a tight contest.
His coach, Ali “Otto” Phiri, said preparations were going on well and Manyuchi was in high spirits.
“We have a taxing programme for the boxer, as well as all other fighters from the Charles Manyuchi Academy, who will also fight on the undercard,’’ said Phiri. “We are working to condition him, remember he hasn’t been in the ring for a long time.
“We are preparing to defend the title. We cannot have someone come and take our crown away just like that. We are working on his strength, execution, speed, agility and every other aspect of the game so that the boxer is both physically and mentally prepared.”