'Cruel Junior' stripped of IBO title

Tsiko "Cruel Junior" Mulovhedzi was close to tears yesterday when Sowetan informed him that he had lost the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) welterweight belt without even lacing a boxing glove.

The IBO championship committee stripped him of the belt due to inactivity within the mandatory 90 days to defend after winning the title.

This is the same man who was accused of using "muthi" to knock out Ali "Rush Hour" Funeka four times before their IBO fight was stopped in round five in July 2015.

Mulovhedzi, 30, said: "I feel like my career is coming to an end. That is why I wanted to defend it when I fought against Dario Socci [of Italy] for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Inter-Continental title in the Free State in April. I was feeling that I was going to be stripped of my IBO title. My promoter [Ayanda Matiti] did not want to hear my story when I told him that the IBO must also be on line against Socci."

Added Mulovhedzi: "Ayanda said he does not want to work with the IBO ever again. But [the] funny [thing is] he made sure that Gideon Buthelezi defends his IBO [junior bantamweight] title last week. My heart is very sore."

He has since been dropped to No28 by the IBO ratings committee. US-based IBO president Ed Levine said: "Mulovhedzi's title was vacated due to taking a regional title fight [IBF Inter-Continental which he won against Socci in Seshego in April] which is strictly prohibited by the IBO world championship rule."

Matiti said: "I knew of the consequences when I organised the IBF fight for Tsiko. But I sat down with Tsiko and his trainer John Tshabalala and explained that I want Tsiko to take [the] IBF route. So there is no train smash."

Malcolm "The Stone" Klassen has also lost his IBO belt due to inactivity.

He won the junior lightweight belt from Jack Asis in Vanderbijlpark in August last year and had not been active since that fight.