Their stables, Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions (OQBP) operations manager, Christopher Malunga said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the duo had stepped up preparations for their respective fights and were doing very well in training.
Catherine is scheduled to exchange punches with Toma Hawa Babirye from Uganda in a 10-round bout, while Manyuchi will take on Isaac Sowah from Ghana in a 12 rounder.
Malunga said Catherine and Manyuchi were ready for their respective fights and were just waiting for D-Day; Saturday, September 28, before stepping in the ring.
He added that the duo was fine-tuning their fighting tactics and were on a serious training programme that would ensure they won their fights.
Malunga, however, said Catherine and Manyuchi’s opponents could not be taken for granted because they were serious and strong contenders.
“We have a very serious programme for the two because the fights they are going to be engaging in are very serious. You see, Ghanaian and Ugandan boxers are very serious and one has got to be even more serious to be able to fight them,” Malunga said.
And commenting on how Catherine felt on the fact that a Zambian referee had been appointed by the African Boxing Union (ABU) to officiate the fight, Malunga said his boxer was not looking for favours but that she had to prove herself in the ring through hard work.
“It is actually very wrong for a boxer to take it for granted that once an official is from their country or region, then they should expect to be favoured over their opponent,” he said.
He said he had confidence in the officials because they were professionals and they had followed the rules every time they presided over fights in the past.
The OQBP operations director added that anyone who tried to favour a boxer would not be helping that person, but would only be destroying them.
Malunga cited an example when Manyuchi went to Burkina Faso where he won the fight despite being in a foreign land and with officials who were not even from his region.
He, therefore, urged Catherine not to let that thought creep into her head but instead continue training hard so that, come September 28, she can win the fight on merit.
Malunga expressed confidence that both Phiri and Manyuchi would win their respective fights.
“This is the time for us to start promoting our own celebrities; they have shown determination in what they have done so far,” he said.