Phuzi primed to defend title

Akani Phuzi and Chris Thompson in their bout in Randburg where Phuzi won by KO. /Nick Lourens
Akani Phuzi and Chris Thompson in their bout in Randburg where Phuzi won by KO. /Nick Lourens

Akani "Prime" Phuzi is lined up not only to defend his WBA Pan African cruiserweight title against Afinni "Finito" Abiodun but he will also be out to test his mettle against the Nigerian.

Their fight is the main bout of Setanta Promotions' international seven-bout tournament at Sibaya Casino in Durban on November 23.

Phuzi is a rising prospect who remains undefeated after six fights.

Interestingly, his foe from Lagos is also undefeated after the same number of boxing matches. Abiodun has the upper hand in terms of knockouts, with five, while Phuzi has three.

Phuzi is trained in Johannesburg by Alan Toweel jnr. The boxer will best be remembered for a stunning second- round knockout of Chris Thompson for the vacant Gauteng title on April 22.

Abiodun, who has been a professional fighter since 2013, did not fight in 2014 and 2015. He had one fight in 2016, two last year and last fought in April.

Nigeria is not big on boxing but once produced a WBC heavyweight champion in 2008 when Samuel "The Nigerian Nightmare" Peter ended the reign of Russian Oleg Maskaev.

Toweel said: "I've watched Abiodun and he's quite a good boxer with a good right hand. I think this fight will be a good test for Akani. It will be interesting to see Akani adjust to this guy's style but we've got a plan to neutralise him. I really believe... that Akani is the future of the cruiserweight in this country. Akani is hard- working, totally committed and disciplined."

Promoter Barry Lambert, whose company will be involved in its 11th tournament, has included fighters from Namibia, Botswana and Malawi.

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