Gilbert Munetsi Sports Correspondent
CHARLES MANYUCHI lost by a unanimous points decision to Russia’s Magomed Kurbanov in a 10-round international match at the DIVS (Palace of Sport) in Ekaterinberg, Russia, on Sunday night. Manyuchi, who was back in the ring after another defeat in Singapore where he gave up the WBC silver title, was fighting the 23-year-old Russian as part of a nine-bout bill put together by RCC Promotions.
It has several titles at stake.
They included the fight for the WBO Oriental between Eduard Skavinsky and Oleksandr Ivanov (Russia), the IBO world title between Shavkat Rakhimov (Russia) and Robinson Castellanos (Mexico) as well as the WBC international which had Mukhammad Yaqubov taking on Victor Alejandro Gonzalez of Mexico.
Reports from the Russian city say Manyuchi put up a spirited effort, dominating in the preliminary rounds, but seemed to lack the endurance going into the final lap of the battle.
It is the fourth loss in the Zimbabwean’s career (and the first in his new-found division of super welterweight).
A tumble down the rankings is now imminent.
His Russian opponent, who is yet to taste defeat, takes his tally to 15, with 11 knockouts.
Though no official comment could be obtained from Manyuchi’s manager, Christopher Malunga, fatigue appeared to have caught up with the Zimbabwean boxer.
“He fought impressively in the first four rounds, but after that he was struggling. I think he lost weight from 83kg to 69kg, and to achieve this he was compelled to undergo dry fasting for close to a week and this must have affected him physically.
“He was not fit and a bout of stomach upset started after he began eating after the weigh-in,” said Prosper Chibaya, who travelled with the former champion, to offer moral support.
Chibaya, a member of the Chivhu Business Community, and a co-director of the Charles Manyuchi Sports Academy, was in the company of two other colleagues from the association whose ambassador is Manyuchi.