Zimbabwe’s boxing superstar, Charles Manyuchi, is set to hang his gloves, putting to an end an impressive career that has given him fame and fortune.
BY HENRY MHARA
The former World Boxing Council (WBC) silver welterweight champion said his career in the ring was ending in the next 12 months and is currently organising his “bye-bye” bouts.
He said he had achieved everything that he wanted and now want to concentrate on his business.
“I want to retire while I’m still at the top. I don’t want to be embarrassed out. A good dancer knows when to leave the dance floor. I will have my last four fights, and after that there will be no more fighting for me,” Manyuchi said.
The first of the last four fights for the 29-year-old wouldbe against an Argentinean opponent on April 20 in Harare before he travels to Zambia for another bout five months later.
“The opponent for the first fight is already there, and the second one is yet to be confirmed. Then the last two are still being sorted out by my managers.”
“I think I have achieved what many boxers will dream of, and I have inspired many. I’m happy with what I have done for the sport, and it is time to give others a chance.”
Manyuchi said he was now concentrating on his boxing academy as well as building his business empire.
“I have a flourishing boxing academy, and I’m planning on expanding it. I’m also into farming and transport business, so that will take much of my time.’
Manyuchi will be looking to bow out in style and improve his impressive record of 21 wins from his total of 25 fights, of which 12 were knockouts.
He lost just three fights and drew once since making his professional debut in 2009.
It didn’t take him long to make his mark, winning the WBC international welterweight title after beating current African welterweight champion Patrick Allotey in 2014.
He would go on to defend the title against Devis Careces that same year, which he capped by winning the Zimbabwe Sportsperson of the Year Award. He made another successful defence of the WBC international belt against Gianluca Frezza, in the latter’s native Italy.
But the crowning moment of his career came in Ekaterinburg, Russia, two years later when he beat local hero Dmitry Mikhaylenko, by unanimous decision to lift the WBC silver welterweight title.
“I have had good memories of my boxing career, but that was the proudest moment,” Manyuchi said.
His run of 17 consecutive victories came to an end last year when he was knocked out by Quadratillo Abduqaxorov to lose the title.
In between, he had other memorable fights, including a brutal first round knockout of Jose Feria at the Harare International Conference centre, in his first major fight at home.
“Losing the WBC silver title was obviously the lowest point of my career, because I feel I could have done better in that fight.”
Manyuchi was heavily criticised for his casual approach in that fight in Singapore and was caught hard by a jab in the initial round from which he never recovered.
After the defeat, he lay low for some months before coming out in the public.
His last major fight was a non-title fight against Russian Magomed Kurbanov in Ekaterinburg, which he lost.
Manyuchi earned a lot of money from the sport and went on to build himself a large house in his home area of Chivhu, while establishing a transport business after he acquired brand new vehicles.