Ilunga Junior Makabu vs Noel Mikaelyan Preview November 4th, 2023
Former WBC Cruiserweight Champion Ilunga Makabu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be taking on Noel Gevor, also known as Noel Mikaelyan of Armenia this Saturday, November 4th. The 12-rounder from Miami, Florida is a Don King production and can be seen live on pay-per-view and FITE TV. Makabu lost the title in his third defence when Badou Jack stopped him in the 12th round in February. Jack has since moved up to the Bridgerweight division and that left the title vacant. Mikaelyan last saw action in February, 2022 when he beat Youri Kayembre Kalenga via a 12-round unanimous decision for the vacant WBC Silver Cruiserweight Belt.
Makabu vs Mikaelyan Betting Odds
- Ilunga Makubu +135
- Noel Mikaelyan -165
The 35-year-old Makabu is a southpaw who fights out of South Africa and enters the ring with a mark of 29-3 with 25 Ko’s. He stands 6-feet tall with a 74-inch reach and has been the distance just four times as a pro as he was stopped in all three of his defeats. Those came at the hands of Badou Jack in his last outing, against Khayeni Hlungwane in just 29 seconds of his pro debut back in 2008 and in the third round by Tony Bellew in a shot at the vacant WBC Cruiserweight title in 2016 after dropping Bellew in the first round.
Makabu has fought 165 rounds since making his pro debut and owns very impressive power as 86.2 per cent of his wins have come by stoppage but has more or less gone the distance in four of his last five fights as Jack stopped him in the final round. His best wins have been against the likes of Thabiso Mchunu, Dmitry Kudryashov, Glen Johnson, Dmytro Kucher and Eric Fields.
Since turning pro he’s also captured the WBF World, IBF Youth, WBC Silver, and WBC International Cruiserweight Titles. He won the vacant WBC World Belt in January, 2020 when he beat Michal Cieslak by unanimous decision. He defended it against Olanrewaju Durodola 11 months later when he stopped him in the third round before beating Mchunu in their rematch in January, 2022.
Mikaelyan, who fights out of Germany, is 33 years old and he enters the fight with a mark of 26-2 along with 11 Kos. He’s been a pro since 2011 and has 194 rounds of experience to his name since then. He stands just over 6-feet-2-inches tall with a 75-inch reach so has a 2.5-inch edge in height over Makabu and a minimal one-inch reach advantage. He’s not the heaviest hitter in the cruiserweight division as just 42.3 per cent of his victories have come by stoppage. He’s been the distance in nine of his last 10 fights and has stopped just two opponents in the past 13.
Mikaelyn’s first loss as a pro came against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk via a 12-round split decision in May, 2017 with his second loss being to Mairis Briedis in November, 2018 by 12-round unanimous decision in a shot at the vacant WBC Diamond Cruiserweight Belt. His biggest victories have come over boxers such as Kalenga, Isiah Thomas, Stephen Simmons, Valery Brudov, Mohamed Azzaoui, Ismail Abdoul, Tamas Lodi and Tamas Polster.
As we can see, Mikaelyn hasn’t exactly been taken on the cream of the crop in the cruiserweight division. He’s a solid enough boxer though and stopped Jesse Bryan in the fourth round for the vacant WBC International Cruiserweight Title in 2020 and his10-round unanimous decision win over Daniel Alejandro Sanabria in 2015 was for the vacant WBO International Cruiserweight Title, which he then defended three times.
This bout features a power puncher in Makabu against a boxer in Mikaelyn but Makabu hasn’t really displayed much power lately and he’s also 35 years old now. In addition, all three of his losses have been by knockout. Mikaelyn doesn’t have an abundance of power but could outbox Makabu if he doesn’t stop him and Mikaelyn also has a good chin. Therefore, Makabu possesses more power but Mikaelyn has the better boxing skills. I think Makabu needs a stoppage to win here so this is a bit of a tossup. I think I’ll go with Mikaelyn this time out.
This will likely be decided by Mikaelyn’s chin.
Play: Mikaelyn -165 @ BetOnline.ag
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