By Tadious Manyepo
There is discord in the boxing fraternity after middleweight star Charles Manyuchi opted out of the eagerly-awaited bout against local challenger Modercai Donga.
The old adversaries were scheduled to battle at the Harare Show Grounds on December 21.
But, 10 days before the fight and with literally everything in place, the former World Boxing Council silver welterweight champion has pulled the plug on the fight.
That has drawn the ire of both neutrals and Donga’s camp. The latter, who had been in retirement for the past decade, challenged Manyuchi.
Donga has been training under his handlers in Swaziland where he now works as a lawyer. He underwent medicals yesterday and weighed just under 80kg.
But, Manyuchi’s camp dropped the bombshell with his coach, Ali Phiri, saying his boxer would gain nothing from fighting Donga.
“We have nothing to prove against Donga (Mordecai). He is not even rated in the world, let alone registered with the Zimbabwe Boxing Control Board,” said Phiri.
“Donga has not been in the game for almost 10 years and he can’t make the middle-weight cut-off.
“So we can’t act unprofessionally.
“Charles (Manyuchi) is a champion and he cannot be involved in such affairs. If we allow him to do that, we will damage his reputation more than anything else.
“If Donga is keen to come back into the ring, he has to challenge other boxers and become a champion so that he will be in a position to challenge Manyuchi.”
As revealed by The Herald last week, the other bone of contention between the two opposing camps was the issue of weight.
While Donga maintains he was supposed to face Manyuchi in the super middleweight section, the latter’s camp insisted they had been preparing to fight in the middleweight.
The fight was being promoted by Clyde Musonda under his Delta Force Boxing Academy. Musonda yesterday reacted angrily to Manyuchi’s decision.
“This is very bad and an unprofessional way of promoting boxing as a sport in the country,” said Musonda. “If we continue on that path, then we are shooting ourselves in the foot.
“As the promoter of the much-anticipated fight, we had put our time and effort talking to sponsors who had since committed to pour their resources towards the fight.
Our colleagues from outside the country had already planned to spend the festive holidays in Zimbabwe since they had prepared to come for the fight.
“What is very worrying is the fact that they (Manyuchi’s camp) are now bringing outrageous claims which they never put forward from Day One.” The Herald