Iconic boxer Charles Manyuchi is leaving the big stage as one of the best pugilists to have graced the ring in this country.
The 33-year-old has written one of the biggest boxing stories by a Zimbabwean in the history of this sport.
As he spikes his fighting gloves with a non-title Swansong bout against Sheriff Kasongo of the DR Congo on May 28 at a venue still to be determined, Manyuchi has held several titles including the World Boxing Council silver welter weight stripe and the African Boxing Union belt.
He is the current holder of the World Boxing Federation middleweight title after successfully defending the crown against Uganda’s Muhammed Sebyala in Masvingo two years ago.
But the Bulawayo-born, and Mutoko raised, boxer knows he wouldn’t have carved his own niche in the ring had the Government of Zimbabwe, through the sports ministry not pleaded with his then Zambian promoters Oriental Quarries to pardon him.
Having been discovered by Edson Zvobgo at an amateur tournament more than 15 years ago, Manyuchi would soon seal a deal with the Zambian promotions entity which is headed by Chris Malunga.
While in Zambia, Manyuchi misbehaved and he had his contract with Oriental Quarries Promotions cancelled in 2016.
He returned home and spent close to a year failing to find any fights.
It then dawned in him that his boxing career would suffer if he remained without a promoter.
“I then approached the officials at the Ministry of Sport. I was honest with them as I told them what I had done for my contract to be terminated,” recalls Manyuchi.
“That is how the officials decided to contact Chris Malunga pleading with him on my behalf.
“After some protracted talks, I was pardoned and they let me rejoin their stable. Soon after rejoining, Oriental Quarries managed to organise a WBC silver match for me.
“I emerged victorious and that’s how everything changed.”
And the pugilist anchors all his speeches on discipline as he is at pains to lecture upcoming boxers to stay focused.
Manyuchi is back in the gym conditioning for his last fight to bring the curtain on his illustrious career down.
Dubbed “The Grand Finale”, the tournament will also have two title fights on the undercard.
Speaking during a press conference to officially announce his retirement plans, tournament manager Monica Cheru said Manyuchi, who has five medals at the All Africa Games to his name, saluted everyone who has been on Manyuchi’s side in his 15 years of professional boxing.
‘’During a professional boxing career that now spans 14 years, Manyuchi is going into retirement with a record of 30 fights fought; 25 wins (15 of them by way of Knockout); four losses and 1 draw,” said Cheru.
“He has won the African Boxing Union welterweight title; the World Boxing Council international title (which he successfully defended two times) and the “World Boxing Council silver title. He is the first world champion to come out of Zimbabwe and currently, he holds the following titles:
1 The World Boxing Federation middleweight title.
2 The World Alliance Boxing Association world supreme title.
3 The Universal Boxing Council inter-continental title.
4 The World Professional Boxing Council title.
“His last fight was in July 2021 at the Flamboyant Hotel in Masvingo when he fought and defeated Ugandan Mohammad Sebyala to claim the unified WBF and WABA titles.
“But it has to be noted that he is one boxer who has fought opponents from different parts of the world and this includes fighters from Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Italy, Russia, the DRC, Singapore, Argentina, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
“He bids bye to the sport that has given him fame and a handsome fortune with a testimonial contest against Sheriff Kasongo of the DRC.
“This will be the second time the two lock horns, the first having been way back in July 2017 when our own Manyuchi emerged victorious by Unanimous Decision.
“Zimbabwe has been grateful to Manyuchi for his flying its flag high, with Government having come on board to give him tokens of appreciation for his exploits in the ring. Twice he has been accorded the Sportsperson of the Year award through the Annual National Sports Awards.
He is a model sportsperson who has invested well from his sweat as evidenced by the various business ventures he has embarked on.”
Charles Manyuchi v Sheriff Kasongo
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