Harare - World Boxing Federation (WBF) has urged its title holders not to press the panic button as they won’t be stripped off after the board issued a blanket cancellation of bouts due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the termination as well as postponement of major sporting activities across the globe.
And for WBF title holders, including middleweight boxer Charles Manyuchi from Zimbabwe, it has been tough over the weeks.
For Manyuchi, his six months’ stint with the middle weight world title is over and he was due to box Ugandan Mohamed Sebyala in Harare next month.
But the bout has, just like other sports across the world, been washed away by the coronavirus outbreak.
While Manyuchi feared that he would have his title stripped, Howard Goldberg, the secretary general of the WBF moved to reassure boxers that no champions will have their titles forfeited.
The pugilist has not stopped training as he wants to keep his weight in check after he came close to be barred from his previous bout against Diego Gallardo in September last year due to excess mass.
“I am over the moon. Of course, with this coronavirus pandemic, you never know when things will normalise again but we all wish we can revert back to normalcy.
“It is in the best interests of public health to suspend all sporting activities across the world. This part of the world hasn’t been hit as acute as other countries but the signs are already telling so it was good to shelve the fight,” said Manyuchi.
“But, my fears were always that I would lose the title without having a chance to defend it. I am very happy the WBF has reassured us that we will not lose the titles due to the coronavirus enforced delays.”
Manyuchi said he will continue training while awaiting a new date.
“I cannot afford to relax. This is a pandemic and you never know, maybe it will be subsiding in the next few months and the fight is ordered to go ahead. As Charles Manyuchi, I know I have had issues with my weight and what I need to do right now is to make sure my weight is kept under check.
“I would have wanted to spend part of my training routine in Zambia with the Exodus Boxing Promotions staff but I have since cancelled that due to the times we find ourselves in at the moment.”