I'll bring home IBO belt: Maemu

Rofhiwa Maemu (left) pummels Tumelo Pedi on his way to the Gauteng featherweight title.
Rofhiwa Maemu (left) pummels Tumelo Pedi on his way to the Gauteng featherweight title.
Image: Nick Lourens

Rofhiwa "War Child" Maemu, whose marauding style of fighting has turned him into a feared warrior, has vowed to increase the number of local IBO champions to five when he challenges junior- lightweight holder Shavaktdzhon Rakhimov in Russia.

The others are Kevin Lerena (cruiserweight), Thulani Mbenge (welterweight), Gideon Buthelezi (junior-bantamweight) and Simpiwe Konkco (mini-flyweight).

"I feel appreciated with the offer to fight for the IBO title and I will bring it back home," said the former undefeated WBA Pan African featherweight holder from Venda. "The purse money I have been offered is way better than what I used to earn for my three defences of the WBA Pan African title.

"That is why I turned down an offer to fight for that organisation's vacant junior- lightweight title on Friday."

Maemu also confirmed having cut ties with trainer Alan Toweel jnr. They had been together since 2015 and put together 14 wins in 16 fights. The boxer would not divulge more information regarding their separation.

"I am still unsure which trainer to join but currently I am being assisted by my friend Emmanuel Mutuvhatsindi [the trainer of WBF women's bantamweight champion Bukiwe Nonina]."

The fighter raised eyebrows when he forced then SA featherweight champion Azinga Fuzile to run like a thief in their fight in East London in 2017. Maemu later savagely destroyed former two-time world champion Tshifhiwa Munyai.

He has, however, come under attack from some fans who describe him as an unskilled fighter.

"I don't have to be skilful to win my fights. I am a fighter who competes to win," he said. "I just like the Mike Tyson style of fighting, which is a kill or be killed attitude."

Tyson used to swarm opponents with punches without giving them time to think.

"Come March 23, I will be crowned IBO champion," said the intrepid boxer.

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