Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
MIDDLEWEIGHT boxer, Charles Manyuchi, says his decision to find sparring partners in Zambia has nothing to do with his much-anticipated bout against local challenger Mordecai Dongo.
Instead, the former World Boxing Council silver welter-weight champion says he is looking at the bigger picture.
Manyuchi wants to prepare for his next title fight against a yet-to-be-identified opponent early next year.
The 30-year-old has played down his match-up against his old rival Donga, whom he beat into retirement eight years ago.
Manyuchi is in Zambia where he is training under the tutelage of former Olympiad Antony Mwamba.
The Zambian is the owner of the celebrated Exodus Boxing Promotions which has a partnership agreement with Charles Manyuchi Academy.
With Donga taking the opportunity to mock Manyuchi, for the Zambian sojourn, the Chivhu-based fighter’s corner has leapt into his defence.
“The preparations are on course and going well. I will beat him (Manyuchi). I am actually going to knock him out and he knows it. He is so scared he can’t even hide it,” said Donga.
But, Manyuchi’s coach, Ali Phiri, downplayed Donga’s challenge.
“Yes, Manyuchi (Charles) is in Zambia where he is training under Antony Mwamba,’’ said Phiri.
“But, we are giving the Donga fight no serious consideration. That’s more of a training match.
“Donga won’t cope with the calibre of Manyuchi.
“Look, we have a serious fight early next year and that is the sole reason why Manyuchi has taken his preparations to Zambia.
“In any case, we are all doubtful if Donga will even shed the excess mass he is carrying.
“He is overweight and has been inactive for 10 years. We are not taking this fight seriously because Donga is a nobody.
“He can’t get to 72kg because he is overweight. If the fight goes ahead, I bet my last cent, Donga won’t last three rounds.’’
Ali said Manyuchi has already proved himself.
“Manyuchi has nothing to prove against him (Donga),’’ said Ali.
“His Zambian preparations have nothing to do with Donga’s fight. Manyuchi needs to go on top and condition himself for the forthcoming bout in early 2020.
“If Donga still dares to come and fight Manyuchi, we will do that but, obviously, we will not be happy to win a fight against a nobody in the industry.”
The two fighters met twice before Donga decided to hang up his gloves.
They each won once and the December 21 fight will settle the debate on who is better between the two.