Manyuchi apologises for Singapore farce
CHARLES Manyuchi chose the eve of the super fight for the world heavyweight championship between Antony Joshua and Wladmir Klitschko, before a sell-out 90 000 crowd at Wembley tonight, to finally issue an apology for that farce in Singapore where he went down in the first round.
The 27-year-old Zimbabwean boxer will probably be watching tonight when British boxer Joshua, who is his same age and is dubbed the best heavyweight to emerge on the scene for some time, takes on Klitschko in what should be a ferocious battle for the world title at Wembley, wondering if he can also scale such heights after the humiliation in Singapore last month.
Manyuchi and his manager at Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions Chris Malunga finally spoke about the stunning defeat to Qudratillo Abduqaxorov of Uzbekistan in Singapore last month.
The Zimbabwean, who went into that fight as the World Boxing Council welterweight silver champion, lost his title to Abduqaxorov on March 25, despite going in as odds-on favourite.
Manyuchi’s spectacular fall from grace is still haunting him and he looked despondent and, at one stage, appeared to be crying during the press briefing in Harare.
“I can only say I am very sorry for disappointing the fans, for disappointing everyone in Zimbabwe. I think those are my words. I will get up, I will continue fighting and I will be the best and I am the best,” said Manyuchi.
His manager Malunga dismissed allegations that the match could have been fixed.
“We are very disturbed as a promotion and also as a manager to the boxer to hear that one of the issues, which was running on the social media (was) that the boxer sold the fight,” said Malunga.
“I take full responsibility and the boxer is very apologetic for the approach to the fight.
”I am talking from what we have been discussing with him. I have sat down with the technical guys, especially my coach, that the technical style of fighting for the boxer has to change.
“I am here mostly to let you know that I know that it is very painful to lose a fight of such nature and to a boxer like the boxer we fought in Singapore. It was very touching but I had to stand for the boxer, he was very emotional.
“He didn’t expect such a result but these things happen in sport and it’s a learning process.
Malunga said they are lining up a non-title fight for Manyuchi before he can challenge for the silver title again.
They are also still entertaining the idea of challenging for gold.
“What is next for Charles Manyuchi is that I can confirm he will fight in a non-title fight between June and July, in Zambia, to mend his record. Once he mends the loss he will get close to the WBC silver and even get close the WBC gold.
“He is still young. He has got a lot of time in the sport and we feel that you can only tell how good a champion is when he is down and how he comes up. It’s not the end of a career.
“I think we are working tirelessly to make sure the boxer gets back his WBC silver or even go direct to the WBC gold if the chance is raised by WBC,” Malunga said.
In London, a crowd of some 2 000 in the Wembley Arena, adjacent to the stadium which will hold the British record crowd of 90 000 tonight, were told by Joshua that he would not necessarily go for the quick-fire KO which has been predicted.
“In a fight at this level I go round-by-round and then take advantage of the opening if one presents itself.”
Joshua is on the cusp of becoming a global star, with room for expansion in America and Asia, just for starters. Klitschko is trying to redeem his career after losing to another British heavyweight, Tyson Fury, who lacks Joshua’s grasp of protocol.
From those two propositions, only one storyline can survive the Saturday night fever.
And, however, much Joshua was praised for his dignity and decency, compliments and sympathy would not protect him from the charge that he took this fight too early in his career
Speaking after the weigh-in, Joshua refuted claims that his opponent has got under his skin.