Ilunga Makabu (Congo) vs Thabiso Mchunu (South Africa)
Packard Music Hall Arena, Warren, Ohio, USA
On January 30, Republic of Congo fighter Ilunga Makabu will fight South Africa's Thabiso Mchunu for the WBC heavyweight title.
This will be their second fight. Makabu and Mchunu had already met in 2015. Thabiso dominated the first six rounds, but Ilunga knocked him out in the eleventh. When the fight was stopped, Makabu lost to Mchunu on two of the three judges' cards, 94-97 and 95-96. He didn't get that far on the third, either. It was a 95-95 draw there. It was only the fact that Mchunu missed an uppercut and then a left uppercut that sealed the match.
The rematch winner is highly likely to get a fight with Canelo Alvarez, who dreams aloud of conquering the fifth division.Get Your Welcome Bonus!
Ilunga Makabu: A knockout artist to watch
Makabu's previous fight was in December 2020, where he made his second title defence and defeated Olanrewaju Durodola early on.
In a bout against Russian Alexey Papin, he won the belt two years ago, his first defence against Michal Cieslak.
Thabiso Mchunu: Small but feisty
Mchunu defeated Russian Olympic champion Evgeny Tishchenko last March by unanimous decision, and before that, he took on former world champion Denis Lebedev. Before that, he fought for the WBO belt and was knocked out by Alexander Usik.
I feel good. I'm ready for this fight, and I have to make sure I win. I'm fighting for the WBC title, and that's every boxer's dream. When I first fought him, I was young and cocky. He was so easy to defeat that I went ahead and knocked me out. Now I'm a more mature and smarter boxer. I'm going to do what I do best, which is to chase him and outbox him. I am convinced that we have done everything to win.
Expert Betting Tips
Both are left-handed, which is interesting but very different. Mchunu is a fast, technical fighter, but Makabu is a puncher (25 knockouts in 28 wins!). But his strength is also his weakness. He relies too much on a punch, which Mchunu will surely be ready for. In addition, nothing much has changed in their tactics and skills since their first fight - Mchunu lost then only because of his inattention, and that mistake must have taught him a lot.