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Manny Pacquiao set for Manyuchi bout

by Staff reporter
22 Jan 2017 at 12:28hrs | Views

ZIMBABWE boxing superstar Charles Manyuchi is set to have a rare opportunity to showcase his skills in front of global boxing icon Manny Pacquiao when he defends his World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight silver title against Qudratillo Abduqaxorov of Uzbekistan in Singapore in March.

Sports and Recreation minister Makhosini Hlongwane is flanked by Sportsperson of the Year Charles Manyuchi and Junior Sportswoman of the Year Danielle Bekker at the awards dinner on Friday

Sports and Recreation minister Makhosini Hlongwane is flanked by Sportsperson of the Year Charles Manyuchi and Junior Sportswoman of the Year Danielle Bekker at the awards dinner on Friday

This is after it emerged that talks are underway between Singaporean boxing promoter, Alexander Shah and Pacquiao's handlers to have the world renowned Filipino superstar at ringside on March 25 at the OCBC Arena.

Shah runs Cartel International Promotion who are bringing the first world title fight to Singapore in almost five years.

He told a Singaporean publication, The Straits Times on Friday that he was confident they will be able to persuade Pacquiao, who is currently a senator in his native Philippines, to attend the Singapore event.

Shah said they were already in discussions with Pacquiao's company, Manny Pacquiao Promotions, to field their boxers in the Singapore event, where the 27-year-old Manyuchi will be bidding to defend his title for the first time.

"I'm meeting Senator Pacquiao next week and will try to convince him to come. He has some investments here [in Singapore] so there is a chance," he said.

Shah said Manyuchi's clash against Abduqaxorov would be the biggest fight to be hosted in Singapore. The bout will reportedly cost more than $500 000 to stage and Shah hopes he can fill the 3 000-capacity venue in Kallang.

"This is the most prestigious boxing match in Singapore in many years. Right now we have one confirmed bout, but we intend to have eight fights for the event," he said.

He said respected boxing publication The Ring had taken an interest and would be covering the event.

"Cartel Promotions is here for the long haul and we want to help promote boxing in Singapore.

"I'm confident that by bringing in more big names, we can generate interest in the wider public," said Shah, who plans to hold a total of nine events this year.

The WBC silver title, which Manyuchi holds after his impressive win over Russia's Dmitry Mikhaylenko last year, is just one tier below the WBC world championship, where superstars Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather used to compete.

Manyuchi, whose professional record stands at 20 wins, two losses and one draw, will defend his WBC welterweight silver title against the young and inexperienced Abduqaxorov, who is yet to taste defeat in nine fights.

The revered Zimbabwean pugilist will use the March 25 fight to improve his chances of eventually having a crack at the prestigious WBC welterweight gold title belt. Manyuchi, who was on Friday night named Zimbabwe's Sportsperson of the Year for the second time, said he was confident of challenging for the coveted belt which was formerly held by the retired Mayweather Jnr and currently belongs to current world champion Danny Garcia, also of the US.

"I am very excited to win [the Sportsperson of the Year award] again and I think I deserve it after missing out last year. It's important to be honoured for what I am doing for the country and what they [the Sports and Recreation Commission] are doing is very good to motivate athletes," he said.

"I am looking forward to winning it again this year because I'm not going down. I think this year I am going to fight for the WBC gold. I hope I am going to win. Right now am preparing for March 25 in Singapore and I am definitely going to win because I am a champion."


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