Gilbert Munetsi Sports Correspondent
FIVE male and two female boxers from the recently-launched Charles Manyuchi Sports Academy put up a sterling performance in their bouts, with three of them posting knock-outs to qualify for Team Zimbabwe bound for Maputo for the Zone 4 Games next week.
The seven were participating in a selection tournament held last Saturday at Sizinda Beer Garden in Bulawayo. A total of 26 bouts were fought with boxers from as far afield as Hwange, Gwanda, Kwekwe, Mashonaland West and the host province, Bulawayo.
Brendon Dennis capped a fruitful evening for the academy by being crowned the best boxer of the tournament while the best female boxer trophy was awarded to Melissa Matanhire, also from the same stable.
Team director Prosper Chibaya, who was witnessing her subjects in action for the first time since investing in the project, said she was thrilled by the performance of the boxers.
We have therefore seen the need not to break camp, but afford our technical department the opportunity to fine-tune any rough areas while awaiting the logistical guidance from the SRC and the national team coach to take over,” she said.
The team is expected to depart next week on Monday for the regional competitions which will run between February 21-25.
“Morale among members of Team Manyuchi is at an all-time high and for an infant club that is still trying to find its feet, the results in Bulawayo were quite inspiring. ‘’They show we now have direction going forward,” said coach Ali “Otto” Phiri.
Meanwhile, local heavyweight Collen “Nyama Mbishi” Mavhundutse takes his act across the Limpopo where he is scheduled to trade leather with Ukranian Vladyslav Sirenko in a six-round international non-title bout.
Their match, penciled in for February 23 at the Emerald Casino, Vanderbijlpark, is an undercard to the South African heavyweight title between Big Daddy and Giant King in a tournament dubbed “Big Hitters.”
Also on the line will be the World Boxing Council Silver Youth middleweight title.
This is the first time Mavhundutse will be fighting away from home after his impressive but short amateur record before graduating into the professional ranks late last year.