Ilunga Junior Makabu vs Thabiso Mchunu Preview Jan. 29th, 2022
WBC Cruiserweight Champion Ilunga Makabu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be defending his title for the second time when he takes on Thabiso Mchunu of South Africa in Warren, Ohio this Saturday, January 29th. This is a rematch of their 2015 tilt which Makabu won by an 11th-round stoppage while trailing on two scorecards and level on the third. Makabu last fought in December, 2020 when he stopped Olanrewaju Durodola in the third round. Mchunu last boxed in March when he beat Evgeny Tishchenko via a 12-round unanimous decision to defend his WBC Silver Cruiserweight Title. This weekend’s bout between the pair of southpaws can be seen live on FITE TV pay-per-view.
Makabu vs Mchunu Betting Odds
- Thabisco Mchunu +120
- Ilunga Makubu -150
The 34-year-old Makabu also fights out of South Africa and enters the ring with a mark of 28-2 with 25 Kos. He’s been the distance just three times as he was stopped in both of his defeats. These came at the hands of 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 141 rounds as a pro and owns a very impressive knockout ratio of 83.3 per cent. His best wins have been against the likes of Mchunu, Dmitry Kudryashov, Glen Johnson, Dmytro Kucher and Eric Fields. Makabu stands 6-feet tall with a 74-inch reach and since turning pro has also won the WBF World Cruiserweight, the IBF Youth Cruiserweight, the WBC Silver Cruiserweight and the WBC International Cruiserweight Titles. He won the vacant WBC World Belt in January, 2020 when he beat Michal Cieslak by unanimous decision ad defended it against Durodola 11 months later.
Mchunu is 33 years old and climbs into the ring with a record of 23-5 with 13 Kos. He’s boxed 197 rounds since making his pro debut in 2007 and currently possesses a knockout ratio of 46.4 per cent. He had a brief amateur career and was once stopped by current WBC and IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev in the third round back in 2006. Mchunu is 5-feet-11-inches tall with a 72.5-inch reach so gives up an inch in height and a minimal 1.5-inches in reach to Makabu.
Since turning pro he’s also won the interim WBA Pan African, the NABF, the African Boxing Union, the WBA Pan African and the South African Cruiserweight Titles. His biggest wins have been against ‘Fast’ Eddie Chambers, Olanrewaju Durodola, Garrett Wilson, Johnny Muller, Ricards Bolotniks, Thomas Oosthuizen and Denis Lebedev. He’s is more of a defensive counterpuncher with good speed and foot work along with decent power but has been stopped in three of his five defeats.
Mchunu isn’t really one of the most exciting champions out there and he often tries to sit on a lead when he’s clearly ahead on points and this cost him in the first fight against Makabu. He was also stopped by Zack Mwekassa in the sixth round in 2011 and by current Heavyweight Titlist Oleksandr Usyk in the ninth stanza in a shot at the WBO Cruiserweight Crown in 2016. His other losses came at the hands of Constantin Bejenaru by 10-round unanimous decision in 2017 and via a 12-round majority decision to Thomas Oostthuizen in their first meeting in 2018.
This bout features a power puncher in Makabu against a boxer in Mchunu with Makabu winning by KO in the first meeting. However, Mchunu was ahead on two of the three judge’s scorecards and even on the third card at the time. Makabu is known for his power but has gone the distance in two of his last three fights and has been out of action since December, 2020. Mchunu has gone the distance in his last five outings and has just one stoppage in his last eight. This could be a replay of their first fight which means Makabu’s power will likely be the difference maker with Mchunu having the edge if it goes to the scorecards. There could be some extra incentive here too as it’s been rumoured that the winner could face Canelo Alvarez later in the year. I’m expecting Makabu to eventually catch Mchunu and retain his belt.
This will all come down to Makabu’s power and Mchunu’s chin.
Play: Makabu -150 @ BetOnline.ag
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