Nick Gordon
2 minute read
14 Jan 2014
6:00 am

Team Mchunu map way ahead

Nick Gordon

The performance displayed by Thabiso Mchunu the last time he stepped onto US soil was such that he won over a horde of new fans in a market that is notoriously tough to crack.

Thabiso Mchunu. Picture: Backpagepix

The southpaw caused more than a few problems for Eddie Chambers in August last year in what was a breakthrough performance against a fighter who had been in the ring with the likes of Wladimir Klitschko while campaigning as a heavyweight prospect.

Mchunu left Johannesburg yesterday as the date of his next American showcase edges closer. The former South African cruiserweight champion meets Olanrewaju Duradola, a Nigerian- born, but American-based former Olympian on January 24.

It’s a fight that will see two combatants, with similar records, slug it out for the NABF cruiserweight title on a show put together by Main Events. Mchunu signed a three-fight deal, orchestrated by his promoter Damian Michael of Showpony Promotions, with boxing doyenne Kathy Duva’s company following his showing last time out.

“It was quite difficult to find an opponent for Thabiso this time around but this Nigerian guy has stepped up and decided he wants to have a go.

“He’s taller, older at 33 years old and he’s quite strong, but I don’t see too many problems for Thabiso. He’s just too clinical,” Michael said yesterday.

The 25-year-old Mchunu will step into the ring with a record of 14-1 and 10 knockouts, while his opponent will cross the ropes boasting career statistics of 17 wins and a solitary loss, with 16 of the victories coming via the short route.

“Thabiso’s realised what he can do now and he’s eager to win over more fans in the States and prove that he’s not only a boxer but that he can put opponents away as well,” Michael added before alluding to the route that has been planned for the rising star.

“We’ve got a clear-cut vision. We want to go for that WBC belt, that’s the end goal. The bottom line is that we feel we are two fights away from challenging for a world title and our first prize would be that green belt of the WBC,” he said.

With world title ambitions on the line the pressure is starting to mount ever so slightly for Team Mchunu, but it’s an opportunity that the boxer and his connections refuse to let slip through their fingers.