Mulovhedzi to face German foe
Tsiko Mulovhedzi will make his mandatory International Boxing Organisation (IBO) welterweight title defence against German challenger Rico Mueller at the Orient Theatre in East London on April 29.
According to his promoter, Xaba Promotions manager Ayanda Matiti, the fight will form part of the Freedom Day celebrations countrywide that start two days before the tournament.
This will be Mulovhedzi’s first defence of the championship belt he won by stopping prefight favourite Ali “Rush Hour” Funeka in the fifth round at the International Convention Centre in East London in July.
Mulovhedzi defeated Funeka before his home supporters, some of whom later revealed their belief that the Limpopo fighter had used muti to win the crown.
Mueller currently holds the IBO intercontinental championship, which he has defended successfully three times. And Matiti believes the German is an ideal mandatory challenger for Mulovhedzi’s championship belt.
According to boxing rules, a title holder has to make a mandatory defence within 90 days of winning a championship belt. “Tsiko will be having his first bout nine months since he won the crown because we could not find opponents for him,” said Matiti.
“Given the significance of April 27 for South Africa, we could not have found a more suitable date for the match – and Mueller’s credentials serve as an added impetus.”
Indeed, the Limpopo-born Mulovhedzi, who has 20 fights under his belt – 10 wins, seven defeats and three draws – considers his encounter against Mueller the toughest of his boxing career. Out of 21 paid fights, Mueller has won 19 times, lost only once and drawn one fight. He registered five victories inside the short route.
“This shows that Mueller is no ordinary fighter because he carries a mean punch, as his record suggests,” said Mulovhedzi. “My title may be in danger of slipping through my fingers, but I will work hard at training to ensure I’m ready for the clash.”
Matiti said the main fight on the undercard would feature Gideon Buthelezi defending his IBO super flyweight title against a foe yet to be announced.
Buthelezi won the then vacant championship in December, beating Makazole Tete by unanimous points decision at the Orient Theatre.
TITLE FIGHT Tsiko Mulovhedzi (right), seen here in his last bout against Ali ‘Rush Hour’ Funeka, says he is ready for his IBO welterweight title defence against German Rico Mueller