Former World Boxing Council silver welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi is hoping to regain lost pride when he marches into the ring for the International Boxing Federation super welterweight title fight against Russia’s Magomed Kurbanov at the DIVS Arena, Ekatarinberg tomorrow night.
The 28-year-old Zimbabwean pugilist approaches this bout with a bruised ego after he lost the WBC title to Uzbekistan’s Qudratillo Abduqaxorov via a Technical Knock Out in May last year.
However, the boxer is not short on confidence as he still went on to outclass Sherrif Kasongo of the Democratic Republic of Congo to claim the African Boxing Union welterweight gong two months later.
In April this year, the fighter, ranked 35th in the world saw off Tanzanian Karage Suba in the first round in Solwezi, Zambia in the main bout of the Oriental Quarries Promotions organised tournament.
And those victories in the match-ups have instilled new-found belief in the boxer who has vowed to start a new life in the new super welterweight division on a high by defeating the Russian.
The venue of the fight could also play a big role in psyching up Manyuchi, who goes into the ring with fond memories of the sweet victory he posted in May 2016 when he outfoxed Dmitry Mikhaylenko, who then boasted of 21 matches without any blemish, to claim the WBC silver crown.
Kurbanov though, is a different prospect having conquered his opponents at the same venue on seven different occasions.
The 23-year old comes into the high stakes tie carrying an impressive 14 wins on the bounds, 11 of them by TKO and no stain on his record.
Both boxers occupy pole positions for the division in their native countries, with Manyuchi leading a small pool of five fighters in Zimbabwe while Kurbanov tops a list of 55 in Russia.
The former’s knockout rate stands at 50% against the latter’s 79%.
Kurbanov, at 177cm-height is also two-centimetres taller than the Zimbabwean.
The Zimbabwean has since dropped in the world rankings to 35 while the Russian sits at number 22 out of 1,826 super-welterweight boxers.
The Russian brags of several decorations from the ring which include the World Boxing Organisation Youth Super welterweight, WBO Inter-Continental title, as well as the World Boxing Council Asian and the WBC EuroAsia Pacific Boxing Council super-welterweight belts.
Manyuchi, on the other hand, has won the African Boxing Union welterweight, the WBC international (twice) and the WBC silver, which he eventually lost to Abduxarov last year, thereby rendering him crownless.
“I am not very much concerned about numbers. What matters the most is how each of us approach the match. It’s about how we are going to apply ourselves in the bout that matters at the end of the day,” said Manyuchi.
“We have prepared well for the fight and I hope we will go about it well. “I’m geared up for this fight, it means everything for me and my career so I will not take anything to chance.
“Like any mortal, I have learnt my mistakes and the fall that succeeded the pride in Singapore is still very fresh in my memory. I have scaled up the divisions from welterweight to super welterweight and this means even my fighting style has changed to suit the current circumstances. My team has been working on that around the clock and a victory in a new division is every boxer’s wish,” he said.
German Tutov is promoting the fight in a deal that will see the Zimbabwean take part in several international assignments brokered by the veteran Russian promoter.