Charles Manyuchi had prepared for eight rounds of boxing, having promised to teach his Colombian opponent Jose Augustin Julio Feria a boxing lesson, but just two minutes 42 seconds into the first round of the historic World Boxing Council-sanctioned non-title bout, it was all over.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Zimbabwe’s WBC silver welterweight champion Manyuchi, who was fighting at home for the first time since he relocated to Zambia a few years ago, was disappointed by his “student” who could not last beyond the first round.
It was a rare treat of international boxing at Harare International Conference Centre at Rainbow Towers Hotel on Friday night, but the main attraction was just brief.
“I am very disappointed the match ended quickly because I was prepared for eight rounds, but he [Feria] couldn’t take the punches. It was not the lesson I wanted to teach him. I thought maybe we were going to go for eight rounds so that I could teach him in every round, but that was just a quarter of the lesson,” Manyuchi said after his remarkable victory.
“I may have ended the match too early also because I was under a bit of pressure with the crowd behind me, the two vice-presidents in attendance as well as a lot of ministers. This will give pressure to the promoter [Oriental Quarries] and pressure to the minister of Sport and the governments to arrange another fight for Zimbabwe so that I can showcase my talent,” he added.
Earlier Manyuchi had made his grand entrance to the sound of local gospel artiste Mathias Mhere’s hit song Areka and a thunderous reception by adoring fans, the Zimbabwe flag customarily strapped around his wrist.
From the onset, he attacked, distracting his opponent with his trademark theatrics, showing face to the opponent before catching him with heavy blows in lightning speed.
A few minutes later Feria inexplicably lay on the floor not knowing what had hit him.
The boisterous crowd, after helping the referee William Sekeleti from Zambia count out the Colombian boxer for a technical knockout, went into a frenzy.
Manyuchi’s next stop is Russia for a title defence against Dmitry Mikhaylenko, the man he beat in May for the WBC belt.
In the other attraction of the day, Zambian Lolita Muzeya won the women silver welterweight title for the first time after knocking out Agnes Mtimaukanena from Malawi in the third round.
Zambia’s Alfred Muwowo also proved too strong for local boxer Anywa Katunga, beating him by a technical knockout in the first round.
There were also knock-out wins for Zimbabweans, namely Tinashe Madziwana and Wesley Mcdade, while Tinashe Mutodza won by a unanimous decision.
Barbra Banda from Zambia also beat Ellen Simwaka from Malawi by a technical knockout as Trevor Mpofu was the only other Zimbabwean to lose a bout on the night, falling to Zambian Mumbela Mukune’s punches.
Both the country’s vice-presidents Phelekezela Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa were in attendance, alongside the Sport and Recreation minister Makhosini Hlongwane, among other dignitaries.