CHARLES Manyuchi’s fighting style has again come under scrutiny after the boxing star lost to Magomed Kurbanov in an International Boxing Federation super welterweight non-title fight at the DIVS Arena, in Ekaterinburg, Russia on Sunday.
BY HENRY MHARA
The former World Boxing Council (WBC) silver welterweight champion lost by a unanimous decision against the undefeated local, who improved his record to 15 wins out of 15.
While Manyuchi faced a formidable opponent in his bid to return to the limelight after a facial defeat to Uzbekistan’s Qudratillo Abduqaxorov to relinquish the WBC title in Singapore last year, some critics believe that the Zimbabwean could have fared better had he not repeated his old mistakes.
Manyuchi was heavily criticised for his casual approach against Abduqaxorov when he tried some “drunken master” tricks, but was caught with a sharp jab for a TKO defeat in the first round of the title fight.
Former Commonwealth flyweight boxing champion Alfonso “Mosquito” Zvenyika then ripped into the boxer’s trainer Mike Zulu for the manner in which the boxer had approached, and tactics used in the fight.
That criticism has resurfaced again after the latest defeat — that further pushes the star away from the limelight — with former boxer and UK-based trainer Fellow Nousenga calling on Manyuchi to immediately change his management team.
He questioned Manyuchi’s showboating as well as keeping his guard down throughout the rounds.
“Charles Manyuchi is a very good boxer, we can’t take anything away from him, but I don’t think he is getting proper training. From this fight, you could see that he hasn’t changed from the old Manyuchi. He was repeating the same mistakes he made from last year when he was knocked out. As a coach myself, you are supposed to tell your boxer what to do. You will be calling all the shots,” Nousenga opined.
Manyuchi is managed by Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions of Zambia and is coached by renowned trainer Zulu.
“I don’t see this current trainer being able to change Charles’ style of fighting. He keeps his guard down most of the time, and if you look at the fight, there were moments he would let his opponent easy access to the face. He would let the opponent punch him and that way he was losing points. And they forget that they were fighting against a person at home, who would easily get a home decision if the fight goes down to points. And the most disappointing thing is that the boxer whom he faced was not even that good. So when something like this continues to happen in your camp, the best thing is to look for another trainer, and see if the fortunes can change for the better. It’s something that happens all over the world. Even Manny Pacquiao changed his trainer at some point in his career.
He added, “Manyuchi should also do his sparring with real welterweight champions, because to be honest the fight was boring. That is not the standard that we expect from our champion because like I said, the opponent was not that good.”
Promoter Craig Rousseau of No Pain No Gain was equally unimpressed.
“Sorry Chris (Malunga), but honestly I’m not impressed. He is still doing his funny, unnecessary showboating,” said Rousseau, who manages current Commonwealth female lightweight and African Boxing Union Female Super Featherweight champion Anisha Basheel.
Chris Malunga is Manyuchi’s manager.