Hong Kong ref for Manyuchi bout

HARARE - The World Boxing Council (WBC) has appointed Raymond Chang of Hong Kong as referee for Charles Manyuchi title defence against Qudratillo Abduqaxorov on March 25 at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.

Chang has officiated in over 56 bouts both as a referee and as a judge and this will be his first time to be in charge of a bout involving a Zimbabwean.

The judges, who will be under intense scrutiny as the eyes of the sporting world will be on their scorecards should the fight go all 12 rounds, were also announced.

Chan Soo Kim of South Korea, Jerrold Tomeldan of Philippines and Noppharat Sricharoen from Thailand will be in charge of the scoring during the WBC silver welterweight title bout while Abraham Kahlil of Philippines will be the supervisor.

Manyuchi’s manager at Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP) Chris Malunga, who is currently in the country from Zambia where they have been intensifying their preparations, said his camp has no problem with those selected to officiate.

“I have trust in World Boxing Council and I have no problem with the officials picked,” Malunga told the Daily News yesterday.

Malunga said he is optimistic Manyuchi would deliver in Singapore, adding that the boxer is now in good shape and raring to go.

“So far so good and we are looking forward to the fight. We have come to Harare so that he (Manyuchi) doesn’t miss home,” Malunga said.

“We also came with our assistant trainer so that the boy stays in shape. We should be going back to Lusaka tomorrow morning.”

Manyuchi last fought on October 14 last year when he knocked out Jose Agustin Feria of Colombia in a non-title fight in 2 minutes 42 seconds at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).

The 26-year-old, who is ranked third in the world, is hoping to build a strong case to challenge for the gold title and to do so he has to fight top ranked boxers like Andre Berto.

Malunga was in the United States of America last year for the 54th World Boxing Council (WBC) Convention where he used the platform to ensure Manyuchi edges closer to realise his dream of challenging for gold.

Berto, who lost to Mayweather in September 2015, is currently ranked second and a fight with a boxer of such pedigree would raise Manyuchi’s profile, especially in the eyes of the gold championship matchmakers.

Meanwhile, OQBP and local boxing promoter Mr35 are planning a special send-off tournament for Manyuchi before he flies out to Singapore for what could be a defining fight in his career.

At least nine Zimbabwean boxers have been called up to participate in the tournament scheduled for Zambia.

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