Shelly Guni, Sports Reporter
BOXING champion, Charles Manyuchi said he is ready to defend his World Boxing Federation (WBF) middleweight title set for March this year.
Manyuchi won the WBF title in September last year after beating Argentine fighter Diego Diaz Gallardo via a third-round technical knockout.
Speaking on the side-lines of a graduation of six boxing referees and judges from Chivhu who successfully completed a national certificate in boxing officiating recently, Manyuchi said;
“We are ready to defend the title on the 28th of March.
“We are going to disclose the opponent once he signs the contract.
“For now we are looking forward to start preparations for the match. I will conduct my training sessions in Zimbabwe and Zambia as well.”
The newly graduated referees and judges were sponsored by the Charles Manyuchi Boxing Academy and all their partners who include, Phil-Jen lodges, Mr T-35, NetOne and Rugare Safari Lodges.
Commenting on the initiative, Manyuch said:
“We are very pleased with this event as the Charles Manyuchi Sports Academy because celebrating other people’s achievements is a good feeling.
“When you are used to being congratulated and celebrated every time you must also make sure that other people’s achievements are celebrated.
“We are trying to show people that every success story is very important, we celebrate every achievement, whether big or small because to those who may have achieved it’s a great achievement,” Manyuchi said.
Charles Manyuchi Sports Academy co-director Prosper Chibaya said their major thrust was to empower women in a male dominated sporting code.
“What is important is that we wanted to promote and uplift women because you can notice that amongst these referees and judges a majority of them are women.
“That also removes stereotype that boxing is a male dominated sport, thus showing that women can do that as well,” she said
“It is very important especially to the Charles Manyuchi Sports Academy to have referees and judges within our ranks without basing on other referees from Harare since our academy is here in Chivhu
“We saw it important to have these referees and judges trained so that when we have tournaments it won’t be expensive to us.”
Guest of honour at the event, Dr Mike Bimha hailed the initiative and pledged to work hand in glove with the other partners to develop sport in their district.
“Sport has supporting activities which create employment which I think is being encouraged by the Charles Manyuchi Sports Academy.
“Manyuchi’s presence here in Chikomba District has inspired a lot of people to relate with boxing and other sports.
“He has raised sporting awareness and activities in the area.
“I’m very pleased with other institutions and business people who have decided to support in their own different ways the Manyuchi Sports Academy and also supporting the training of boxing referees and judges,” he said.