Ranson Madzamba Sports Correspondent
CHARLES MANYUCHI says his use of Zambia as a base isn’t any different from local footballers who are dotted around the world, but come and play for the Warriors. The World Boxing Council international welterweight champion said there was nothing abnormal about the arrangement where he trains and fights from his base in Zambia.
He revealed that while the Zambians have dangled honorary citizenship to him, he had decided to remain a Zimbabwean because he was very proud to be representing this country and the people who support him in Zambia.
“How many Zimbabwean soccer players are playing in the South African league, not mentioning those in Europe?” said Manyuchi.
“They are playing there, but they remain Zimbabweans and they even play here for our national team. Manyuchi is having sponsorship from the Zambians, but still remains a Zimbabwean and I’m ready to come back (and fight from here) if meaningful sponsors from the motherland come.
“l respect my country and will remain patriotic and those writing negative sentiments on my Zambian connections must think deeper and actually stop it. I would want to thank all the Zimbabweans who travelled from various nations to support me in Italy. l would want to thank the man of God, Prophet Uebert Angels, for leaving his busy schedule to come and support me. It was fantastic and l have realised Zimbabweans have love for each other.”
He revealed that his contract with his Zambian promoters would end in November.
“They wanted to offer me Zambian citizenship but l declined it. l love my country Zimbabwe. The Zambians seem to be in love with boxing more than us here and that is why they were even quick to take me on board having discovered l was a talented boxer,” said Manyuchi.
“I would want to be a brand for Zimbabwe first, and then the rest of Sadc, if not the whole of Africa and the world over.” He said he wanted to help Zimbabweans appreciate the art of boxing so that they can support other up-and-coming boxers better.
“l would want Zimbabwean people to have (different) thinking towards boxing, I am ready to be a teacher to take boxing to greater heights in the country,” said Manyuchi. “My dream is even to come up with a boxing school. l want to invite my fellow Zimbabweans to sponsor me as I have become a brand and shall, and without doubt, develop to higher levels that even exceed being a brand.
“The government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture, have been with me although l have to understand that in some cases they struggle to fulfil everything l need as you know the situation in the country is not that good economically. l have to thank them.”