Manyuchi eyes WBF World Middleweight title

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S top boxer Charles Manyuchi will have his sights on the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Middleweight title when he makes a return to the ring against Diego Diaz Gallardo from Argentina at the at the Harare International Convention Centre on September 28.

The 30-year-old former World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight silver title holder was initially scheduled to face France’s Martin Damien next month before being presented with a golden opportunity to challenge for the WBF title.

In a statement on their official website on Saturday, WBF confirmed that Manyuchi’s title bout against the former champion Diaz would be one of the two WBF Championship fights that are the main attraction of the bill which is being promoted by the Zambia-based when Exodus Boxing Academy.

The upcoming fight is Manyuchi’s second this year after his come-back Universal Boxing Council (UBC) and Global Boxing Union (GBU) intercontinental unification title win over Pablo Ezequiel Acosta at the HICC on May 25.

“In the main event, local favourite Charles Manyuchi, 23-4-1 (14), takes on former champ Diego Diaz Gallardo, 22-6-1 (13), from Argentina, for the vacant WBF World Middleweight title. Manyuchi is aiming to make a break-through, while Diaz Gallardo will attempt to resurrect his career after a set-back,” WBF said in a statement.

“A professional since 2009, Manyuchi (30) has won several regional titles on his way to this his first crack at world honours. Diaz Gallardo won the WBF World title in 2017 and made one successful defense, before being stripped when he was upset by compatriot Billi Facundo Gody in a non-title fight late last year,” the boxing sanctioning body said.

Manyuchi, who has 24 wins under his belt, 14 of them being knockouts, four defeats and just a single draw has been battling to revive his career which suffered a major blow following his technical knock-out (TKO) loss to Uzbek fighter Quadratillo Adbuqaxorov in March 2017 in Singapore.

But a solid showing against Acosta in Harare, whom he pummelled into submission, spelt an ideal come-back for one of the most celebrated boxers in Southern Africa and he would be hoping to continue his gradual comeback by capturing the WBF World Middleweight title.

Meanwhile, in the second WBF title fight, undefeated Masvingo-based young pugilist Brandon Denes will battle with Malawian Byson Gwayani for the vacant WBF intercontinental light welterweight crown.

It will be the first championship fight for both boxers, and a real chance to make their mark.

Zimbabwean Denes brings a record of 6-0 (3), having entered the paid ranks in May of last year. Gwayani, a 23-year-old Southpaw from Malawi, made his pro debut in March of 2016 and has since compiled a 12-6 (5) ledger.