CHARLES Manyuchi has apologised for the disappointing first-round knockout defeat to Qudratillo Abduqaxorov of Uzbekistan last month in Singapore, which saw him relinquishing his World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight silver title.

BY HENRY MHARA

Charles Manyuchi

Charles Manyuchi

The boxing superstar was knocked out in just two minutes 56 seconds, for his third defeat in 24 matches and received a lot of criticism for his casual approach to the huge fight, with some even suggesting that the fight might have been fixed.

Manyuchi tried some “drunken master” antics, but was caught with a sharp left jab that saw the 26-year-old Zimbabwean kissing the canvas and never recovering.

Speaking yesterday to the media for the first time since the shock defeat, Manyuchi apologised to his fans and has promised to come back strongly.

“There is nothing much I can say. I just want to say I’m sorry for disappointing my fans and my country. I will get back to my best and will continue fighting to be the best because I know I’m the best,” Manyuchi said at a Press conference in Harare.

He will start his journey to recover the title with a non-title fight to be staged in Zambia next month.

Manyuchi’s manager Chris Malunga, of Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions of Zambia, said the identity of the opponent will be revealed once the contract has been signed.

The Zimbabwean will be hoping that Abduqaxorov beats mandatory challenger for the WBC welterweight silver title Russian Dmitry Mikhaylenko to activate the rematch clause in their contract with the Uzbekistani.

If Mikhaylenko wins, Manyuchi’s road back to the title will be long and winding.

Malunga, who was also at the presser, said they underestimated Abduqaxorov and Manyuchi was punished for his showboating.

He revealed his boxer broke down after the fight and was inconsolable in the dressing room.

“Charles will fight in a non-title bout between June and July in Zambia to mend his record. I spoke to the president of WBC in Mexico about Charles and he knows that he is a very good boxer. He is still young and has a lot of time in the sport. You can only tell how good a champ is by the way he bounces back after a setback. This is not the end of his career and we are working tirelessly to make sure that he gets back his WBC silver title or even directly to the WBC gold. He is a boxer that was grown in the WBC and I don’t think they will side-line him. He will soon fight for one of the WBC titles,” Malunga said.

Malunga said Manyuchi would not be allowed to showboat and clown inside the ring. He, however, trashed suggestions that the fight was fixed.

“We are very disturbed as a promotion, and as the manager of the boxer to hear what some people are saying that the boxer sold the fight. We take full responsibility for the defeat and the boxer is very apologetic for the approach to the fight. From what we have been discussing within, he is very sorry to his fans and I have sat down with the technical guys, especially the coach and I have told him the technical approach of the boxer for the fights has to change. You will see in his next fight that he will use totally different techniques. He has fought differently before and I think we have to revert to that style because that’s the best way to fight.”