Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
NEW World Boxing Federation middleweight champion Charles Manyuchi spent the better part of last month playing football than in the boxing ring.
Manyuchi overcame Argentine Diego Diaz Gallardo, via a third round Technical Knock-Out, at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on Sunday morning.
But the former WBC silver welterweight holder spent close to a month on the football pitch than inside the ring.
His coach, Ali Phiri, revealed Manyuchi had to spend a significant period of time in football sessions to achieve balance and perfect leg movements. He was flawless in these aspects as he subdued his opponent.
“We camped for some time whereupon Manyuchi, along with other boxers from the Charles Manyuchi Academy, spent more of the time playing soccer,’’ said Phiri.
“Football is not just a game. It is both physical and mental. It helps boxers attain agility, strength, speed of execution due to pressure and above all focus.
“Good boxers do not just throw punches, they combine several motor skills to get a desired outcome.
“This is why we had to incorporate football into our training regime. It helped us a lot as Manyuchi was spot on.
“He had the endurance, he showed the ambition and retained maximum concentration to end the bout in the earliest possible time.
“When we were doing football lessons, the cardinal rule for either team (of boxers) was to score early goals. By so doing, it becomes mental and develops into a habit.
“This is why you saw Manyuchi, and even other boxers from the Charles Manyuchi Academy, looking determined to end their bouts early,” Phiri said.
Meanwhile, regional boxing legend Antony Mwamba of Zambia has hailed Zimbabwean boxers saying the country has potential to produce more world champions.
“I should start by congratulating Charles (Manyuchi) for this great win. He is surely back at his best and can actually do even better going forward.
“There is also something which I have just noted in Zimbabwean boxing.
“They are doing something very right. I was charmed by the boxers we watched in the ring today.”