'Funeka should be fine-tuned in US'

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Worshiped former WBA welterweight champion Mark Breland wishes that Ali "Rush Hour" Funeka could be sent to the US to learn the finer details of pugilism.

The former US Olympian, who ended the illustrious career of this country's longest-reigning welterweight king, Harold Volbrecht, said this on Saturday night.

That was after his fighter Zahir "Z-Man" Raheem's four-round demolition by the unheralded Mdantsane fighter inside a packed marquee at Jan Smuts Stadium in East London.

Raheem suffered his first ever stoppage since his professional debut on November 11 1996. He announced that he would campaign in the junior lightweight division in future.

"America will be the appropriate home for Funeka to learn the finer details of boxing," said Breland.

"I do not mean that Dudu Bungu and Mveleli Luzipho are not good as his trainers. I respect them but Ali needs acclaimed mentors like Floyd Mayweather (senior) and Emmanuel Stewart who are also acclaimed for being masters in inducing a sense of belief in fighters.

"Ali has become a serious threat, and top trainers will now study him carefully from the way he walks. His win against my fighter catapults him to the top.

"Ali has massive power behind his right hand. I mean, my fighter did not recover from the first knockdown in the second round. But I observed that he struggles to expose his power because he stands with his legs too far apart and that takes away power.

"He has got a beautiful jab but it is lazy. He has got to learn to pump it with fire. He does not use his height well. It's small adjustments, here and there. He must copy here, copy there and mix with his own then the world will be his oyster."

Funeka's next fight will be for the lucrative IBF lightweight title . He will face the winner between champion Nate Campbell , who also holds the WBA and the WBO belts, and Joan Guzman on September 13.