Saturday, 29 February 2020

MANYUCHI : MY LIFE AFTER BOXING


APART from losing their mental or physical health, some boxers also lose their hard-earned fortunes, especially after hanging up their gloves.

“Iron” Mike Tyson, the former undisputed world heavyweight champion, who retired with a 50-6 record including 44 KOs, blew most of his US$400 million fortune on drugs, cars, alcohol, divorces and child support before filing for bankruptcy.

Tyson has over the past few years been able to recoup some of his wealth, thanks largely to his autobiography, appearing in movies and starring in talk shows. 

Frank Bruno, Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield are some of the renowned former boxers who had serious post-career financial issues.

Locally, former Commonwealth champions Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago (late) and Arifonso “Mosquito” Zvenyika also suffered the same fate.

These riches to rags tales have motivated Manyuchi, who is now already preparing for life after boxing. The proud holder of the WBF and Global Boxing Union world middleweight titles,and former WBC Silver welterweight champion told The Sunday Mail Sport that he intends to retire “in two years’ time.”

“I am 30 now, so I think two more years I will be done. I want to retire when I am 32,” Manyuchi said. 

He has, however, been hard at work at a Harare gym, where he is preparing for his next fight.

Manyuchi is set to defend his WBF and GBU belts against Muhamad Sebyala of Uganda in Harare on  April 3.

The pugilist has been forced to shuttle between Harare, where he is training, and Chivhu where he has vast business interests that range from transport and logistics to livestock production.

He owns four houses as well as a double-storey building in the Mashonaland East town and  also into dog breeding.

Sungura king Alick Macheso, a successful cattle farmer whose farm is near Chivhu, inspired Manyuchi who now has a herd of 25 cattle and 110 goats.

“Macheso’s project inspired me but most of my motivation comes from stories I have read or heard about some boxers who died paupers or ended up living in poverty despite making millions of dollars during their careers,” said Manyuchi, who also owns six commuter omnibuses. 

“I grew up admiring the likes of Mosquito (Zvenyika) and I also read a lot about the late Tinago. I didn’t like what happened to their lives after they retired.”

Manyuchi also revealed why he chose Chivhu as some felt he should have invested in upmarket urban areas.

“Most of the celebrities think Harare is life, but I want to prove them wrong. Besides, I don’t want to live a lie. Most celebrities live a fake life; they want to pretend.

“I don’t drink, I don’t smoke … I know there will be life after boxing. I will leave this sport soon, in the next two years.

“I come from a very poor background. I was born in a family of eight and my father struggled to take care of us, so boxing was a way out for me,” said Manyuchi.

“I would walk several kilometres to and from school, back in the days when I was at Chifamba High in Mudzi. After school I worked as a casual worker in the sugar cane plantations in Triangle.

“All that inspires me to do better and create a good platform for my son Charles Jnr, who is now doing Grade Seven.” Sunday Mail

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