Govt should sponsor Manyuchi

THE recent victory by Zimbabwean boxer Charles Manyuchi has shown that the country’s sports industry could achieve more if enough sponsorship is poured into the sector.

Manyuchi won the World Boxing Council welterweight silver belt on Friday when he became the first boxer to beat Russia’s Dmitry Mikhaylenko, regarded by some as the next big thing in welterweight boxing.

The belt which Manyuchi won was once held by British boxer Amir Khan who vacated the title when he jumped two weight divisions to challenge reigning WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarezof Mexico, however Khan failed to make it after being knocked out in the sixth round on Saturday last week in Vegas.

The feat by the welterweight champion has put Zimbabwe as a country on the world sporting map and government should be seen helping such talented sportspersons.

Just like multi-gold medallist swimmer Tracy Coventry, just carrying the tag name Zimbabwe while competing on the international stage is good marketing for the country worldwide.

The recent Manyuchi’s victory comes at the backdrop of a debilitating economic decline thus defying all odds to give the people of Zimbabwe a ray of hope and something to smile about, albeit with no support from government.

We applaud, however, the effort by Sport minister Makhosini Hlongwane who facilitated the reconciliation of Manyuchi and Zambian promoters Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotion (OQBP) who sponsored this fight. 

Hlongwane’s facilitation came after the Manyuchi’s flirtation with OQBP had come to an abrupt end back in November last year following what then seemed to be irreconcilable differences.

And it is here that we blame the government for not chipping in and sponsoring our own son so that he continues lifting our flag high.

Hlongwane should have made effort to source for funds from within Zimbabwe; he could have approached a number of corporate companies so they take over Manyuchi’s sponsorship.

In failing to tie Manyuchi to local sponsorship this has also meant that Manyuchi’s chances of fighting at home will remain a dream.

Since being crowned African Boxing Union champion some years ago Manyuchi has fought and triumphed in foreign rings in Burkina Faso, Zambia and Namibia.

The fact that the Zanu PF government has failed to support boxing demonstrates the total failure by the regime to provide the necessary environment for sport development in the country.

To honestly have our sports personality surrogated by neighbouring Zambia owing to lack of appropriate support infrastructure locally is quite shameful and disgusting to say the least.

It is our hope that local corporates with the help of government will be able to source enough funds to sponsor our sports stars who continue to shine while domicile in foreign countries.

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