Mchunu feels losses made him stronger fighter

Thabiso Mchunu floors Daniel Venter during an  ABU cruiserweight title fight at Emperors Palace  .  / Antonio Muchave
Thabiso Mchunu floors Daniel Venter during an ABU cruiserweight title fight at Emperors Palace . / Antonio Muchave

Thabiso "The Rock" Mchunu believes he has emerged a better boxer after absorbing the lessons of two painful losses - to Congolese Ilunga Makabu in 2015 and WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine in December last year.

Mchunu was stopped by Makabu in the 11th round of their WBC cruiserweight elimination bout in Durban while Usyk stopped him in the the ninth round in California.

Mchunu came back more determined than ever, toying with Johnny Muller for the ABU and SA titles in a Golden Gloves tournament at Emperors Palace in June.

He will now challenge WBC international champion Constantin Bejenaru at Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, on November 25. New York-based Bejenaru won the title in November last year. He is undefeated in 12 fights.

Mchunu, who is already in Connecticut, said: "I learned so much from those two defeats to Makabu and Usyk. I should have won easily against Makabu, and the Usyk fight was at short notice. There was not enough time."

Mchunu knows that his international aspirations hinge on the Bejenaru fight.

"My preparations were good and I am happy," he said. "I watched his clips on YouTube and he is not special. I am not spending sleepless nights."

Arguably the craftiest boxer, the left-hander with 18 wins in 21 bouts has quick hands and is unorthodox, with a tricky side-on style.

"A win will open doors for me," said Mchunu, who is rated No 15 by the WBC.

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