Rush Hour in no hurry to quit

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

For­mer In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IBO) wel­ter­weight cham­pion Ali “Rush Hour” Funeka has brushed aside ad­vice from his suc­ces­sor, cur­rent IBO ti­tle­holder Tsiko “Cruel Ju­nior” Mulovhedzi, to hang up his gloves.

Funeka lost his crown in a fifth-round tech­ni­cal knock­out be­fore his home fans at the East Lon­don In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre last Fri­day.

The 37-year-old’s per­for­mance was poor and he had noth­ing to of­fer the pol­ished Mulovhedzi, who landed a num­ber of pow­er­ful punches from the first gong.

The Lim­popo chal­lenger’s punches had Rush Hour in se­ri­ous trou­ble from the out­set, although he did man­age to sur­vive two knock­downs in the third round.

By the fifth round, Funeka was clearly ex­hausted and Mulovhedzi then seized the op­por­tu­nity to land a few more pow­er­ful jabs.

This was when ref­eree Deon Dwarte stopped the fight and saved Rush Hour from more pun­ish­ment.

How­ever, Funeka’s camp was un­happy with the out­come of the fight.

They said Mulovhedzi had used muti to beat Funeka.

The Daily Dis­patch re­ported that Funeka’s trainer Dokes Sikonyela claimed that Mulovhedzi’s camp was seen with sus­pi­cious muti ob­jects be­fore the bout.

In ad­di­tion, Sikonyela re­port­edly said mem­bers of Funeka’s camp had heard that Mulovhedzi’s fol­low­ers were seen do­ing sus­pi­cious things near the ring dur­ing the fight.

Mulovhedzi (28) has dis­missed the muti claims as “jeal­ousy” from Funeka’s han­dlers.

The newly crowned IBO king­pin told City Press the pun­ish­ment he in­flicted on Funeka in the ring was a sign that Rush Hour should quit as “he has noth­ing more to of­fer box­ing”.

But Funeka said he had no plans to do that.

“I still have a lot to of­fer box­ing and Mulovhedzi can­not tell me what to do.

“He may have taken my ti­tle, but I will def­i­nitely re­gain it when we meet again.

“I am still strong and want a re­match,” said Funeka.

Re­gard­ing al­le­ga­tions of black magic be­ing used by the ri­val camp, Funeka said he had felt dizzy through­out the fight and was un­able to stick to his fight plan. “I felt numb through­out the bout. “But that’s not an ex­cuse, I will get him one day,” said Funeka.

The vet­eran has 36 wins, five defeats and three draws in 44 pro­fes­sional fights.

Mulovhedzi has had 20 fights, win­ning 10, los­ing seven and draw­ing three.

PHOTO: LEE WAR­REN / GALLO IM­AGES

NOT OVER Ali ‘Rush

Hour’ Funeka, who lost his IBO ti­tle to Tsiko ‘Cruel Ju­nior’ Mulovhedzi,

will not hang up his

gloves

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