Manyuchi salutes fans
Tedious Manyepo Sports Reporter
World Boxing Council silver welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi has saluted his Zimbabwean fans who cheered him on in his homecoming WBC non-title first round knock-out bout triumph over Colombia’s Jose Agustin Julio Feria at the Harare International Conference Centre on Friday night. Manyuchi was fighting for the first time in Zimbabwean soil since he was crowned Africa and the WBC silver welterweight champion.
The fight, which had been highly publicised, attracted a sizeable crowd of about 2 000 and it was a night which lived up to its billing save for that the Zimbabwean fans did not get to see their hero Manyuchi in full swing as he opted to crash his opponent within 162 seconds.
The Chivhu-born boxer, who had exuded confidence all week, did just what he had promised the fans as he showed the world why he is one of the best welterweight fighters on the planet with an easy victory over Feria.
Just three seconds into the fight, Manyuchi descended on his opponent, throwing a blitz-grieg of punches and it became increasingly apparent that he would knock Feria out before the allotted eight rounds were up.
With Manyuchi playing some antics in the ring not attempting to cover his face, Feria tried to go for him but a well calculated upper-cut from the 26-year-old sapped all his energy in a flash, fell down and could not get to his feet early enough to beat the referee’s count, and the Zimbabwean boxing fans broke into a frenzy.
Speaking after the bout, Manyuchi said it was the local fans who helped him win the fight early and he sought to up the tempo each time he heard them shouting his name. “I would want to salute my Zimbabwean fans. I wanted to go for eight rounds with Feria so as to give the fans something to smile about.
“But boxing is like war, if you release your first bullet and it catches the enemy then the war will be over. That is what happened today. “It was my first real show in my country and I had to show the cheering fans what stuff I am really made of.
“Thank you very much Zimbabweans, those who were at the venue and everyone who followed the bout on television, without forgetting all those who provided emotional and material support,” said Manyuchi.
Manyuchi’s next pot of call is an away title defence fight against Russia’s Dmitry Mikhaylenko, ironically the man whom he defeated to land the silver crown in May. He expressed confidence that he will successfully defend the belt in the European country.
“I will continue to work hard in training to try and defend my title against Mikhaylenko. “It is not going to be easy but I think I will do it to make my people proud. “I am a diplomat and will continue to work hard for more accolades,” he said.
Ealier, on Friday, seven other supporting bouts had been witnessed including a women’s WBC title fight which saw Zambia’s Lorita Muzeya crowned the champion after accounting for Agnes Mtimaukanena by a TKO in the third round.
Another Zambian Alfred Muwowo displayed some good boxing skills as he accounted for Zimbabwean fighter Anyway Katunga via a first round TKO. Tinashe Madziwana and Wesley Mcdade of Zimbabwe won through some TKO while Tinashe Mutodza posted a victory on unanimous decision. Both Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko attended the boxing jamboree on Friday night.