World Boxing Council silver champion Charles Manyuchi technically “lost” and will have to challenge for his title following revelations that one of his past opponents seized the opportunity of his failure to defend his belt in time and fought for a right to it. By Gilbert Munetsi

Russian Dmitry “The Mechanic” Mikhaylenko, who Manyuchi handed a first defeat in his backyard in Ekaterinburg on May 6, took advantage of Manyuchi’s failure to defend within the stipulated six-month period and “nicodemously” laid his hands on the title.

He fought Breidis Enrique Prescot, a Florida (USA) based Colombian whom he beat by a TKO at his DIVS Ekaterinburg base. The bout, fought on November 18, automatically qualifies Mikhaylenko to be the WBC silver interim champion.

Last week’s triumph by the Russian takes his tally to 22 wins and one loss, the latter being at the hands of Manyuchi. What the latest development now means that Manyuchi will have to challenge Mikhaylenko if he entertains the hope of retaining the title.

According to Wikipedia, an interim championship is an alternate championship that is awarded in the four major sanctioning bodies of professional boxing, namely World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, World Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation.

Occasionally, the champion of a particular weight division is temporarily unable to defend his championship because of medical, legal, or other reasons that are beyond the competitor’s control.

When this case occurs, two highly-ranked contenders may fight for an interim championship of the same weight division — leading to two champions existing in the same weight division simultaneously.

“Once the original champion is able to return, he must fight against the interim champion in a “unification bout.”

The winner of this contest is then deemed the “undisputed champion.”

If the original champion cannot return, or transfers to a different weight division, the interim champion becomes the undisputed champion.

Manyuchi was billed to defend his belt in the October 14 bill at the HICC, but his anticipated Italian opponent was reportedly in a no-show, compelling the Zimbabwean’s handlers, Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions, to seek a last-minute replacement in Colombian Jose Agustin Feria.

The match in which Manyuchi floored his opponent in under three minutes was, however, reduced to an international friendly.

At the time of going to press there had not yet been a response to the written questions sent to Oriental Quarries, but while still in Harare a month ago, the camp had said Manyuchi would fight Mikhaylenko in Russia on November 14.

Manyuchi is currently in the country and has yet to go into camp sending speculation in the boxing community on what fate holds for the Zimbabwe boxing ace who had risen on the world boxing rankings to Number 4. The Herald

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