HARARE – Zimbabwe’s number 1 boxer Charles Manyuchi lost his WBC Welterweight silver title when he was knocked out in the first round by Qudratillo Abduqahorov of Uzbekistan in Singapore yesterday.
Abduqahorov, who is based in Malaysia and was fighting his fourth fight in Singapore, now extends his record to (11-0, 7 KOs) after knocking out Manyuchi in the first round inside 2 minutes and 55 seconds.
Manyuchi with his unorthodox style never really got going as he exposed his soft chin with a low guard from the first bell.
The Zimbabwean’s game plan was to lure the Uzbekistan fighter to come at him but it failed to work due to the challenger’s speed.
Every time Manyuchi tried evading, Abduqahorov was able to land a right jab in that opening first round.
As the opening round drew towards a close Manyuchi was already wobbling from the punches Abduqahorov had landed.
The Zimbabwean hit the canvas first when Abduqahorov made contact with a quick combination.
Manyuchi returned to his feet before the referee Raymond Chang of Hong Kong could count him out.
Abduqahorov already smelled blood and when the fight resumed, he came at Manyuchi with a barrage of punches.
The Zimbabwean could not hold on to try and be saved by the bell as he crumbled into the ropes forcing Chang to stop the fight.
It looks like Manyuchi had been overconfident going into the fight as he simply did not rate Abduqahorov.
Although boxing is a warrior sport with egos playing a big part in the build up before fights, Manyuchi seemed to have been too brash.
With a record of 10 straight wins in his short professional career, Abduqahorov was always going to be Manyuchi’s biggest test.
The Zimbabwean arrived in Singapore last week, at least 10 days before the fight and took part in the local media rounds.
The Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions fighter appeared very confident.
“I don’t allow a boxer who has less than ten fights to be a champion of the world. Never, never, never…I am going back home with my belt as champion,” he said before the fight.
Abduqahorov’s camp had noticed this chink in Manyuchi’s armour with his trainer Ilgar Aliev musing: “…Manyuchi sounds very confident, and they have been here for 10 days before the fight. I personally feel that Manyuchi’s camp did not take this fight very seriously and they will pay dearly for that.”
For sure, the Zimbabwean paid dearly for his lackadaisical approach to the bout.