Mulovhedzi to face Ger­man foe

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

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.

PHOTO: SINO MAJANGAZA / DAILY DIS­PATCH / GALLO IM­AGES

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

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