FEATURE: What happened to Manyo Plange’s world title dream?

BY: Bernard Neequaye

Jessie Manyo Plange has been waiting for his dream opportunity to challenge for the world championship but to no avail.

The bantamweight fighter came close to an eliminator early this year but nothing came out of that bout.
Plange is currently rated in the top three by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and should be fighting for a title as soon as possible.

The year began with so much hope for the Ghanaian but with two months left to the end of 2021, I doubt if he could get a shot at the WBA belt.

“I am hopeful that the opportunity will come and I just have to continue working hard so I can be ready when the chance avails itself. It is a shame that I have to wait all this while but like I said, it’s about negotiations and sometimes it takes long,” said Plange during an interview with the Graphic Sports.

It has been a long road for the Olympian whose professional career dates back from 2012 after an impressive amateur career which saw him compete at various international competitions such as the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, 2007 African Games in Algiers and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Training tour

Four years after the Olympics, Plange turned professional at age 24. Nine years later, Plange has managed 22 fights without a defeat and is gunning for his maiden world championship fight.

That preparation has taken him on a training tour to the United Kingdom where he trains at the Birmingham Boxing Club, owned by the renowned Frank O’Sullivan.

“My stay here has been good because I’m learning a lot and the facilities are great. I am training here under one of the best trainers in the world and I believe that will adequately prepare me ahead,” he stated.

Despite all the good training he is enjoying, Plange has no plans of relocating to the United Kingdom.

He wants to become a champion by fighting out of Ghana and that is what he has been working on.

That means he has to return to the ring as quickly as possible, having gone without a bout this year.

Tune up fight

Plange said he had taken up a tune-up fight with Alexis Kabore upon his return and defeated the Nigerian boxer in his last ring outing and wants to be active by offering him a rematch.

“I will have a tune-up fight when I return because I need to be in shape to put up a good show when I get the chance to fight for a world title. This year has been tough especially waiting on a fight that keeps delaying but I’m not giving up,” Plange told Graphic Sports.

However, he looks into the future with confidence and believes the time is closer for him to reap the fruits of his labour.

That is not going to be easy though especially when the bantamweight division is choked with talents and great champions.

Plange might have to face the likes of WBA and IBF champion, Naoya Inoue, Nonito Donaire, holder of the WBC belt, or the WBO titlist John Casimero to be able to realise his dream.

“I’m not afraid to fight any of them because I believe I can face them squarely when the chance comes. I want the champions to fight me to prove their worth and I know I will come out victorious,” he stated.