Cruel blow to Junior’s IBO belt?
Tsiko “Cruel Junior” Mulovhedzi is a worried man.
Mulovhedzi is concerned that his upcoming International Boxing Federation (IBF) intercontinental welterweight title fight against Germany’s Dario Socci might cost him his International Boxing Organisation (IBO) crown.
Mulovhedzi is scheduled to go toe to toe with Socci for the vacant IBF intercontinental championship at Mangaung Indoor Sports Centre in Bloemfontein on March 17.
Although Cruel Junior is anxious about the upcoming bout, he runs the risk of being stripped of the IBO diadem after this fight.
This is because the Limpopo fighter has not defended his championship belt for almost 11 months – since beating Mexican Jesus Gurrola by a unanimous points decision at Ngoako Ramatlhodi Sports Complex in Seshego, Limpopo, in April.
According to the rules, a champion is supposed to put his crown on the line nine months after his last bout.
Cruel Junior stopped Ali Funeka in the sixth round to win the title at the International Convention Centre in East London in July 2015.
“I haven’t defended my IBO title for more than nine months now, and am aware that it might be taken after the Socci fight,” said Mulovhedzi.
But he said he was prepared to surrender the title and win the IBF intercontinental diadem even though he regards it as “inferior” compared with the IBO crown.
“I’ve already signed to fight Socci and will have to surrender my IBO belt if it comes to the push.”
Cruel Junior said he had trained hard for the contest and was confident of winning by a knockout.
Socci, who fights out of Berlin, comes in with a record 10 wins, two defeats and one draw from 13 starts.
Mulovhedzi has chalked up 11 victories, seven defeats and three draws in 21 outings.
His promoter, Ayanda Matiti of Xaba Promotions, said the boxer should not worry about losing his IBO crown.
“He must just win the IBF international contest in spectacular fashion and stand a chance of being in the IBF top 10.
“That’s more important for him,” said Matiti.
Meanwhile, Mbali “Don Queen” Zantsi’s Showtime Boxing Promotions will stage an all-female tournament at the Kempton Park Civic Hall on Saturday afternoon.
Topping the bill will be the South African junior welterweight title fight, where champion Sandra Almeida will defend her crown against Nomadithini Ndyambo.
Almeida stopped Ndyambo in the ninth round at the Mdantsane Indoor Centre, East London, in October 2014 to win the then vacant crown.
The main fight on the undercard will feature Simangele Hadebe, who will trade blows with Melissa Miller in a provincial bantamweight title bout.
There will be four other fights on the bill.
WORRIED Tsiko Mulovhedzi says he is worried about losing his IBO title after he fights for the IBF intercontinental championship