THE Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture has hailed boxer Charles Manyuchi and assured him support after he put the country on the world map by being crowned the World Boxing Council welterweight international champion in Zambia on Saturday.
BY SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Manyuchi wrote a glorious page for Zimbabwean boxing in Lusaka at the weekend after beating Ghana’s Patrick Allotey in the eighth round of a 12-round bout to be crowned the WBC welterweight international champion- becoming the first Zimbabwean to win the WBC welterweight title.
He thus pushed Langton “School Boy” Tinago — a three time Commonwealth title holder and the late Proud “Kilimanjaro” Chinembiri who won the African Boxing Union All Africa heavy weight title in his boxing career into the shade.
Speaking during a Press conference also attended by the minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi and Masvingo mayor Hubert Fize in Harare yesterday, the minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Andrew Langa congratulated Manyuchi for his achievements.
He also appealed to the corporate world to support Manyuchi who has revealed he was ready for highly rated American boxer Floyd “Money Man” Mayweather.
Langa also said he would facilitate to have Manyuchi meet President Robert Mugabe following a request by Masvingo mayor Fize who had accompanied him to Zambia.
Manyuchi hails from Masvingo.
“We are gathered here ladies and gentlemen to witness and congratulate this gallant son of Zimbabwe, Charles Manyuchi for winning this prestigious world belt. The Zimbabwean flag continues to fly high above other nations and this time it is boxing which has flown the flag high when our own Charles Manyuchi knocked out Patrick Allottey of Ghana in the eighth round over the weekend in Lusaka, Zambia, to win the World Boxing Council welterweight title.
“You remember at one point we were married to a Ghanaian and now we have beaten Ghana. This demonstrates that Zimbabwe is a force to reckon with in boxing. We will do everything we can to support Manyuchi. We also want to appeal to the corporate world to come in and support him.
“In the 1980s Proud ‘Kilimanjaro’ Chinembiri was the African heavyweight Boxing Champion for a number of years and Langton “SchoolBoy” Tinago also became the Commonwealth lightweight champion from 1983 to 1987 while Zvenyika Arifonso was also a two-time Commonwealth boxing winner.
“These were inducted into the Zimbabwe sports Hall of Fame. Today, Zimbabwe has re-established itself on the boxing world map through the heroic exploits of Manyuchi,” said Langa.
The minister said it was also pleasing to note that Manyuchi was a product of the National Youth Games. “It is also gratifying to note that Charles once participated in our own National Youth Games as a boxer for Masvingo province. His latest victory is testimony that the National Youth Games are a platform through which talent can be identified and nurtured. In conclusion, I would like to thank all the organisations and individuals who supported Manyuchi in whatever form and to Charles we are firmly behind your success, may you continue to conquer the world of boxing through your heroic exploits in the ring.”
Manyuchi went into the ring with a crack on his finger, but Fize said the Zimbabwean boxer still managed to conquer.
The Zimbabwean hero said with support, he can do better than this. “We can do it if we get support. It can be done. We can do better than what Langton ‘Schoolboy’ Tinago and Proud ‘Kilimanjaro’ Chinembiri did. All we need is exposure,” he said.
Mzembi said Zimbabwe now has its own Nick Prize in the boxing arena and that his ministry would try to bring sports tourism to the fold.