Manyuchi over the moon

HARARE - World Boxing Council (WBC) silver welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi is delighted after making light work of Colombian Jose Agustin Feria on Friday night.

Fighting on home soil for the first time since 2012, Manyuchi wasted no time in blasting away Feria in the first round.

Back then he was just still making his inroads in the professional welterweight ranks and on Friday he was treated to a rousing welcome by the Harare International Conference Centre crowd as the WBC champion.

The “Busy Bee” went after Feria from the opening bell landing some heavy shots to the head and the body.

The Colombian, with a record of 21-3-1 before Friday’s fight, never had a chance to land any meaningful punches and was already down in the first minute.

To his credit, Feria was able to beat the 10 counts. The referee allowed the fight to continue but it would not last for long.

Manyuchi landed more brutal punches through Feria’s guard and the fight was over after two minutes and 42 seconds inside the first round.

Although he expressed disappointment at the premature ending of the fight in the opening round whilst still in the ring, Manyuchi was more pleased with his good work at the post-fight press conference. 

“I was prepared for this fight and I feel much better that I have overcome the pressure of fighting on home soil. I’m happy with my performance,” the 26-year-old said.

“My game was to go for head shots and punish the guy. He couldn’t take it for long that’s why he took a rest. I don’t believe in predictions, I just focus on fighting the eight rounds.”     

Whilst most local fans, who had been starved of boxing action on the domestic scene complained about the lack of staying power shown by Feria, Manyuchi felt otherwise.

“I think boxing is like war,” he said.

“If the fight bullet catches you, then it means the war is over for you. I think the government and Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP) will put together another promotion and we will see whether it goes to 10 or 12 rounds.”

The next stop for Manyuchi now is next month’s title defence against Russian Dmitry Mikhaylenko at the DIVS Hockey Arena in Ekaterinburgin.

Manyuchi successfully defended his belt against Mikhaylenko back in May by an unanimous decision. 

Speaking after Friday’s fight, Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane confirmed the government was working hard to revive local boxing using Manyuchi’s popularity.

Hlongwane said plans were in place to work together with OQBP to stage at least four tournaments next year which will all be headlined by Manyuchi.

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