HARARE – It is said that a prophet is never recognised in his own land.
The phrase aptly describes the situation which Zimbabwe’s African Boxing Union (Abu) welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi is facing.Last month, the Masvingo pugilist knocked out Burkina Faso champion Patrice Sou Toke to claim the coveted Abu welterweight title in Ouagadougou.
But Manyuchi said his achievement is more celebrated in Zambia rather than in Zimbabwe.
“I’m more recognised in Zambia, and in Zimbabwe a few are taking boxing as serious sport,” Manyuchi told the Daily News.
“I want to thank the Zambian promoters Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotion and Edson Zvogbo (Jnr) who have been supportive.
“For the sport to improve we need to completely revamp the sport. The sport cannot be successful because there is nothing happening on the amateur ranks and that is where we are supposed to get professional boxers from.”
Manyuchi joins the class of Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago, Proud “Kilimanjaro” Chinembiri, Arifonso “Mosquito” Zvenyika, Tineyi Mharidzo and Thamsanqa Dube as the few Zimbabwean boxers to have held international boxing titles in any weight division.
“I attribute the lack of boxing in Zimbabwe to lack of promoters. They used to be many promoters however; we used to have many promoters in the past,” Manyuchi said.
“A boxer needs to keep his ring experience and mileage running so that he stays in shape, he has to get used to competitive boxing unfortunately, and we are failing to get enough international tournaments.”
Manyuchi hopes that the local business community will support him in his defence of his title on September 28.
“I hope to defend the title at home; I will start my training soon.”
Manyuchi will be hard pressed to mount a title defence soon so as to thwart the prospect of losing his belt in the manner Dube and Maridzo lost theirs after failing to host defence matches.
The African champion is managed by Edison Zvobgo Jnr and belongs to Zvobgo Boxing Stable based in Masvingo.