Seven boxers from the former World Boxing Council (WBC) silver welterweight champion Charles Manyuchi’s multi-discipline sports academy have been selected to represent Zimbabwe at the forthcoming Region V boxing championships in Mozambique following a selection tournament held in Bulawayo at the weekend.
The seven boxers set to travel to Maputo from the 20th to the 24th of this month include 23-year old Brendan Denis and 19-year old female pugilist Melissa Matanhire winners of gold medals in Angola last year and winners of the best male and female at the Bulawayo Selection Tournament.
The Charles Manyuchi Academy launched barely three months ago, last December with an initial nine athletes drawn from across the country is beginning to bear fruit.
With a focus on grassroots development and nurturing talented athletes into world class athletes and champions, the academy has sent shock waves in the boxing fraternity after seven of its boxers were selected to represent Zimbabwe in Mozambique.
Academy co-founder and director boxer Prosper Chibaya said he is happy with the results so far which will strengthen her resolve to give back to the community by developing and nurturing a cross section of talented athletes.
Academy boxing coach Otto Ali said that he looks forward to producing world champions in the mould of Manyuchi through the academy.
Denis and Matanhire are brimming with confidence following their selection.
Chivhu businesswoman Prosper Chibaya partnered Manyuchi to establish the academy which requires a capital injection of at least $100 000 to be fully operational.
Initially nine athletes signed two year contracts with the multi-discipline academy that also hopes to offer other sports such as football, tennis, squash, netball, volleyball and netball besides boxing.
The seven boxers include 21 year-old Evans Usaihevhu from Harare Province, 25 year-old Future Mazeya of Hwange in Matabeleland North, 17 year-old Aliyah Issa Phiri of Harare, Asani Milanzi of Harare Province, 19 year-old Melissa Matanhire from Chivhu, Mashonaland East, 23 year-old Caroline Ncube of Bulawayo Province, 23 year-old Brendan Dennis Mashava of Masvingo.
Other members of the academy include, Shepherd Sithole of Midlands and Tinashe Majuru of Masvingo.