Undefeated Phuzi faces sternest test yet against Shihepo

Akani "Prime" Phuzi and Chris "The Wolf" Thompson in their topsy-turvy bout in Randburg where Phuzi won on points over six rounds.
Akani "Prime" Phuzi and Chris "The Wolf" Thompson in their topsy-turvy bout in Randburg where Phuzi won on points over six rounds.
Image: Nick Lourens. © Sowetan

The professional boxing career of undefeated cruiserweight Akani “Prime” Phuzi from Malamulele in Limpopo is starting to heat up.

So far‚ he has won eight straight fights‚ four by knockout‚ and captured both the Gauteng and WBA Pan African titles with a solid unanimous decision over Chris Thompson and Youssouf Kasongo Mwanza respectively.

Phuzi's last fight was on March 31 at Blairgowrie Recreation Centre in Randburg where he stopped Musa Ajibu within the distance and before that he came out on top against tough opposition.

Now he is a top ranking contender with an eye on the South African title that is held by Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu.

As the stakes rise‚ Phuzi will feel the pressure‚ especially when fighting in Randburg before the large crowds he always attracts.

On July 14‚ Phuzi fights for the sixth time at that venue and without question he will be up against the best boxer he's ever faced so far in the form of Wilbeforce Shihepo in Supreme Boxing Promotions bill.

Shihepho from Namibia has 18 knockouts in 25 wins.

He has been in with a number of good fighters including German Arthur Abraham and has only lost to the very best of them.

The 36 year old‚ who is nicknamed “Black Mamba”‚ has 10 losses and is expected to test Phuzi and show the boxing world if he is the real thing.

Phuzi‚ trained by Alan Toweel Junior in Johannesburg‚ is certainly out to show the world that he is ready to step up into the big time.

The last fight should haunt Phuzi.

Sure he won it comfortably‚ but he really wanted to make a statement to the crowd that had bought tickets for the event which were broadcast live by SuperSport.

But the 33 year old Malawian‚ who has been around since 2005‚ will not just lie-down and allow Phuzi to embarrass him without putting a fight.

His loss was his seventh in a row since 2017.

Ajibu‚ who did not hear the bell going for the last round against Shihepo on April 7 last year‚ has 28 wins and 24 by stoppages against 14 losses and five draws.

Toweel's other charge‚ Bangile Nyangani‚ who is rated No 2 for the SA mini flyweight belt that is held by Xolisa Magusha‚ will welcome Oscar Richard from Tanzania in an ABU SADC vacant mini flyweight title over 10 rounds.

Like Phuzi‚ Nyangani just cannot afford to go wrong for their dreams of becoming national champions will be shelved.

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