World Boxing Council international welterweight bronze champion Charles Manyuchi takes his bid for greatness to another level tonight when he fights Russia’s Dmitry Mikhaylenko for the vacant WBC silver belt at DVIS Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia.
The Zimbabwean boxer yesterday expressed confidence ahead of today’s bout as he said he was ready for the showdown.
He said he will do his best to bring the belt home.
However, it’s not going to be a stroll in the park for the 26-year-old whose last fight was last July while his opponent’s recent fight was in January.
Boxing promoter, Clyde Musonda, said a victory by Manyuchi today will be a milestone achievement, not only for him but for boxing as a sport as well as the country at large.
However, he noted that it’s not going to be an easy fight.
“The competition is now getting stiffer because most boxers this is the kind of belt they are looking at, they start looking at silver and gold, the one Mayweather had.
“So Manyuchi has to give it all. It can change everything for him and people can start to get interested in boxing
“It’s a good fight and his win I think will help the boxing fraternity a lot. It’s not for Manyuchi only, it’s for us Zimbabweans,” said Musonda.
Musonda said Manyuchi stands a chance to win the fight.
“I have seen this guy (Mikhaylenko), almost seven of his fights. This guy is an aggressor but he does not have the punch, he is fast and Manyuchi is aware of that and he throws hard punches.
“If this match goes to the 12th round, Manyuchi will lose. The only way he can win is a knockout. If you look at some of the boxers he (Mikhaylenko) has knocked out it was because he is an aggressor and he is fast.
“So, normally such a person, from the judges’ point of view, is dominating the fight, so they usually win the fight.
“The other thing is that this guy is at home, if it goes to the 12th round there is home advantage for him,” said Musonda.
The Russian is undefeated in 21 fights while Manyuchi has 17 wins from 20 matches.
Former Commonwealth flyweight champion, Alfonso Zvenyika, said he would want to see Manyuchi winning but there was need to be realistic considering his opponent’s record.
“Manyuchi is a good fighter but the guy he is fighting has been fighting well and he is strong. I have seen his last three fights and I can say Manyuchi is our brand, we want him to win but his opponent is good.
“Manyuchi is welterweight and in his division that’s where the competition is tough. Welterweight is the best in the world, especially in Europe, so he needs a different strategy.
“The guy can take punches, he can move, he has all one needs in boxing,” said Zvenyika.
Manyuchi has done the nation proud by defending his WBC international title three times.
He won the title in March 2014 against Ghana’s Patrick Allotey, before defending the title in November of the same year when he beat Deivis Casseres.
He retained the title last year against Italy’s Gianluca Frezza.
He was honoured by President Mugabe at a banquet at State House where he received $50 000 for flying the country’s flag high. The Herald