HARARE – Almost 10 months after his last fight, Charles Manyuchi will have to shrug off some rust when he takes on Russian Dmitry Mikhaylenko tonight in Ekateringburg.
Manyuchi, who is the current WBC international champion, takes on Mikhaylenko at the DIVS arena for the WBC Silver title left vacant by Britain’s Amir Khan, who takes on Canelo Alverez in Las Vegas tomorrow in the middleweight division.
The Zimbabwean’s last fight was on July 18 last year when he defended his title against Gianaluca Frezza in Italy.
Since then his career has been on hold after he fell out with his Zambian camp of Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP).
The Masvingo-raised boxer had hoped to find a local promoter to finance his mandatory title defence but it did not materialise.
In the end, it took the intervention of Zimbabwe Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane, who successfully organised talks between the boxer and OQBP resulting in their reunion.
Manyuchi’s manager Thomas Malunga told Russian media that his fighter was ready to face his undefeated opponent.
The 30-year-old Mikhaylenko comes into the fight with a perfect record of 21-0 while Manyuchi’s record is at 17-2-1.
“Charles is more than ready to meet Mikhaylenko. He defended his WBC International title multiple times, so Mikhaylenko has to be really technically ready to even stand a chance,” Malunga said.
“He is not here to play or for fun — he has come to win. Being at the top of WBC is his goal. He is serious.”
The Manyuchi-Mikhaylenko bout is the main event of a card that is being promoted by leading Russian matchmaker German Titov.
Also fighting on the same card is Russian Evgeny “Happy Gilmore” Chuprakov, who is scheduled to defend his WBO European super featherweight title against Sebastian Tlatlik from Germany.
The 26-year-old Chuprakov first won the title his compatriot Dmitry Kirillov in September last year before going onto defend the belt against Timur Akhundov.
There are also four other minor title bouts on the card featuring Russian fighters.