WBO puts Schultz on fast track

THE IBO was labelled as a joke after it sanctioned Zolani Marali, who had been knocked out in his last junior lightweight fight, to take part in its lightweight championship.

THE IBO was labelled as a joke after it sanctioned Zolani Marali, who had been knocked out in his last junior lightweight fight, to take part in its lightweight championship.

The same must be said of the WBO, which seems interested in having local fighters holding its belts whether they deserve the opportunity or not.

This Puerto Rico-based sanctioning body has approved Michael Schultz to fight for its All Africa Interim super middleweight belt. Schultz will oppose Zimbabwean Tineyi Maridzo.

This 12-rounder will be presented by Branco Sports Productions at Wembley Arena next Friday night.

Schultz has fought only twice since his comeback, against washed-up opponents, winning both fights on stoppages. He had been in retirement for 11 years.

Andrew Smale, who represents the WBO in Africa, said their sanctioning of Schultz was based on the fact that he had a good fight record prior to his retirement.

"His pedigree is good," Smale said. "He will acquit himself well in the title fight."

Schultz had been undefeated in 14 fights before he retired.

Promoter Branco Milenkovic said the top fighters in the local middle and super middleweight divisions were avoiding Schultz "because they see his record but they forget that his first 14 fights were 11 years ago".

"We then opted to look for international opponents in Africa."

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