A sporting hero we have shunned

HARARE - As Zimbabweans, we have a propensity for claiming glory when we have contributed very little to that success.

Take for example the way we have treated boxer Charles Manyuchi in his professional boxing career that spans 23 fights.

Last weekend, Manyuchi successfully defended his World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight title by stopping Italian Gianlucca Frezza with a technical knockout after six rounds in Venice.

Since turning professional in 2009, the Mutoko-born fighter has received very minimal assistance from his country of birth.

In order to make a name for himself in this sport, Manyuchi had to relocate to Zambia where he is fighting under the Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP).

The Zambians have provided Manyuchi with the best platform to reach his dream of being a world champion, something Zimbabwe failed to achieve.

The 25-year-old does most of his important training like sparring sessions in Zambia before crucial fights.

Even Zambia President Edgar Lungu sent Manyuchi a letter before the fight with Frezza, encouraging the boxer to make Africa proud.

OQBP have been good matchmakers as they have laid down a roadmap to see that Manyuchi remains at the top of his game by fighting the top pugilists.

At the moment, his Zambian manager Christopher Malunga is working on getting Manyuchi in the ring with Amir “King” Khan, who currently holds the WBC Silver Welterweight title.

A fight with the Briton will be a big payday for Manyuchi as it will attract the world’s attention and is guaranteed to be a big hit on pay-per-view television.

The only Zimbabwean company which has been with Manyuchi through thick and thin is Mr T35.

At times the ministry of Sports has given the boxer some assistance.

However, it us Zimbabweans who are quick to hail Manyuchi as a world champion when we have neglected all his preparations and his needs before big fights.

Manyuchi is a boxing prophet we as Zimbabweans have despised but luckily, our Zambian brothers have welcomed.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority confiscated Manyuchi’s trophy and passport upon arrival from Zambia on Wednesday night.

This is a true Zimbabwean hero we have treated like a criminal and this does not sound good at all.

President Robert Mugabe has promised to host a banquet for Manyuchi at State House next Thursday.

Let’s hope this is a start of good things to come for the boxer and that he will be embraced by the entire nation.

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