Manyuchi Misses Sparring Sessions

Sports Reporter

A PUNCH bag and a gym is all what World Boxing Federation middleweight champion, Charles Manyuchi, has at his house for training.

Since the postponement of his title defence, which was originally scheduled for April 4 at the Harare International Conference Centre, Manyuchi has successfully managed to keep his weight in check.

“In terms of weight management, I am very much alive to that and I am always keeping it in check,” said Manyuchi.

“I know the awkward moments I had to undergo prior to that WBF fight against Diego Gallardo last year.

“I was subjected to some taxing exercises which almost left me weary.

“I know the WBF title defence will be on any time as soon as the coronavirus epidemic eases, so I have to maintain the right shape.”

Although he has managed to retain the correct weight, Manyuchi is a worried man.

The Chivhu-based pugilist normally spars with five boxers almost daily.

He goes up to 10 rounds at every turn, which has helped him finish off his opponents in his last two fights well within the distance.

But, he can’t have the sparing partners at this juncture as the COVID-19 outbreak has made sure each one of them trains alone at their respective homes.

Sporting activities, including boxing, have been put on hold in this country with authorities extending the national lockdown period indefinitely over the weekend.

That means more time of solo training for Manyuchi.

“Its so difficult training alone at home. I am used to be sparing with different partners but the coronavirus epidemic has put all that into disarray.

“Remember you fight the way you train. Boxing is one sport which is very practical. I cannot always be punching this bag.

“Of course, it works but you know at some turn you need to real practice against other boxers.

“But, we cannot be seen advocating for the rushed return of sport. What the authorities are doing is fantastic.

“Sport is played and cheered by healthy people. We applaud the efforts of the authorities in trying to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.”

For Manyuchi’s coach, Ali “Otto” Phiri, the worries are multi-faceted.

He has to keep in touch, via virtual means, with the bulging boxers in the Charles Manyuchi Boxing Academy stable, including the boxer’s five sparing partners.

“It’s difficult but necessary. I have to make sure everyone sticks to the recommended programmes every day, including making video calls to reassure them.

“The pandemic is something else but staying at home is the only solution.

“We keep on hoping that all shall be well in the not so distant future,” said Phiri.

Manyuchi’s sparing partners, who were also scheduled to fight on the undercard on April 4 include Brendan Denes, Evans Usavihwevhu, Tinashe Majoni, Tatenda Biningu and Hasan Milanzi.

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