Manyuchi WBC dream ok, but…
“CAN Manyuchi Dethrone Toke?” was the question I posed in last week’s column and newly crowned African Boxing Union (ABU) welterweight champion, Zimbabwean- born Charles Manyuchi (15-12,KO5-2-1) answered the poser with an emphatic – yes!
Manyuchi dethroned Burkinabe, Patrice Toke (19- 17,KO 9 -2) via a fifth round knock out in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso this past week.
I join the entire boxing fraternity in Zambia and Zimbabwe in congratulating Manyuchi, savvy trainer Mike Zulu and Oriental Quarries operations director Chris Malunga on their collective effort that has seen their boxer improve his pedigree by reaching the pinnacle of the welterweight division in Africa.
That Manyuchi grabbed the crown from Toke did not come quite as a real surprise to me because, in last week’s installment, I acknowledged that his confidence would prove his forte and by going into the fight determined and giving the former champion a taste of his medicine.
This resounding victory proves that when you’re good enough, you can win anywhere and produce amazing results. This has given Manyuchi so much confidence; he is already talking of going for the big one—the World Boxing Council (WBC) title.
Nothing wrong with this ambition really, but I would advise that Manyuchi should be given a chance to defend his ABU title at least three times before he can begin to think of going for the bigger, prestigious belts.
In fact, at this stage of his career, Manyuchi should not be rushed to challenge for even World Boxing Association (WBA) or International Boxing Federation (IBF) because, although I know he’s good, he has not reached marquee status yet.
Why am I saying this? I feel that winning the African title should be no ultimate measure of Manyuchi’s eligibility to challenge for the WBC title, at least for now, because, if you’re a die-hard boxing fan, you will agree with me that the challenge at WBC level is arguably far greater than at ABU.
Some of the active welterweights from the main sanctioning bodies include Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Devon Alexander, Adrien Broner, Marcos Maidana, Andre Berto, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto and Ruslan Provodnikov.
These are just some of the big names Manyuchi is bound to face one day in the future and my honest opinion is that he will need more than an African title to square off against any one of these guys; all of whom I have seen in action. I’m not underrating Manyuchi, but I can argue that he will need to face enough stiffer opposition to be ready for the stars in this division.
I would propose that Manyuchi’s handlers should, in fact, consider mapping out a road map where the boxer is allowed to start challenging for titles from the less recognised sanctioning bodies like the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) before hastily going for the jewel crown-WBC.
I note too, with surprise, that Manyuchi is scheduled to defend his African title just three months after winning it. I don’t understand the logic behind this. Supposing he lost the title in his first defense (I’m not a prophet of doom), how will those plans of going for the WBC title be achieved?
I would have thought that if Oriental Quarries wanted to keep their boxer busy and fit, which is a good thing, they would have allowed him at least six months rest before defending the title.
Mind you, preparations for a major fight, a title fight, entail a punishing training regime which takes a toll on a boxer’s body. Instead of a title defence in September, would the organisers consider a catch weight contest where Manyuchi’s title would not be at stake?
Manyuchi’s stock has certainly risen with the title win, but challenging for WBC soon would be too premature. email@example.com / 0966 755 574