Manyuchi in line for Zim's premier sport award

HARARE - Following a hugely satisfying 2014, boxing champion Charles Manyuchi is hopeful of bagging the top prize at tomorrow night’s Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) ceremony in Harare. 

Manyuchi started the year by claiming the World Boxing Council (WBC) vacant welterweight title by defeating Ghanaian Patrick Allotey in March.

The Masvingo-born pugilist then successfully defended his belt by beating Colombian Devis Caceres by a technical knockout last month.

Manyuchi will battle for the Sportsman of the Year award against karateka Winston Nyanhete and golfer Scott Vincent.

The 26-year-old is hot favourite to win this award, which will put him in line for the Sportsperson of the Year gong, which is likely to be contested by tennis queen Cara Black.

Manyuchi, who has a professional record of 15 wins, two losses and one draw, has however received little recognition for his efforts in his homeland.

He currently fight under the Zambian stable, Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP), who have taken him under their wings since turning professional few years back.

“This year was a good year for my boxing career. I’m hoping to continue with this fine form next year,” Manyuchi told the Daily News yesterday.

“I have put all my efforts for the whole year and now it’s up to those who select to choose the right person for the award.

“Last year, I was crowned as the first runner-up and I think this year it will be no surprise if I win the award.

“In preparing for the WBC fight, I came across a lot of challenges that include training. Getting training equipment and a proper gym was a problem and the government did not give me anything.

“It pains me. I did not get anything from the government, even a handshake. If my memory serves me right, I’m the only African to have won a WBC title this year.”

Winning the top accolade will, however, not be an easy task for Manyuchi as Black’s form on the WTA circuit was also quite phenomenon. 

Black, who has over 50 WTA title under her belt, recorded 49 wins in 2014 with her Indian partner Sania Mirza.

The 35-year-old Harare-born ace has also won the Sportsperson of the Year on two previous occasions.

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