On March 28, Charles Manyuchi returns to Lusaka, Zambia for the second defence of the World Boxing Council (WBC) international welterweight title.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
He is set to meet 26-year-old Russian fighter David Avanesyan.
Having floored Patrick Allotey in March last year for his first claim of the title and hand the Ghanaian his first ever professional defeat, Mayuchi announced his arrival on the world stage impressively through technical knockout.
He returned to Lusaka four months ago and overpowered Colombian pugilist Devis Caceres for the first defence of the prestigious belt.
Now Avanesyan stands in Manyuchi’s way as he marches towards attaining status to trade leather with the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan at the World Boxing Association Super Title level.
Avanesyan has a professional career record of 19 wins, a loss and a draw, while Mayuchi has 15 victories, two defeats and a draw.
The Russian last tasted defeat in 2009 on home soil to Andrey Klimov in a non-title match through unilateral decision with Manyuchi’s last loss coming in 2010 after he was defeated on points by South African pugilist Page Tshesane in a non-title bout in Mpumalanga.
Manyuchi would be Avanesya’s third ever African opponent after the Russian pummelled Kaizer Mabuza of South Africa last year, as well as Kenyans James Onyango and Samuel Kamau in 2012 and 2011 respectively on home ring.
It would be the first time ever for Avanesyan to fight on African soil and the March 28 bout would be at the Lusaka Government Complex, a venue Manyuchi is quite familiar with, as he is also guaranteed fervent support from the Zambians who treat him like their own.
Boasting of 131 rounds in 21 matches of his professional career against Manyuchi’s 108 in 18 contests, Avanesyan’s last match was held last December in Liverpool, England where he defeated Hungarian Laszlo Fazekas on points in a non-title fight.