Tsiko Mulovhedzi and his trainer seek redemption in Russia

Tsiko Mulovhedzi, seen in action against veteran Ali Funeka, will take on five-fight newcomer Shakhabas Makhmudov in Russia on Monday./SINO MAJANGAZA
Tsiko Mulovhedzi, seen in action against veteran Ali Funeka, will take on five-fight newcomer Shakhabas Makhmudov in Russia on Monday./SINO MAJANGAZA

Is boxing trainer Emmanuel Mutavhatsindi getting accustomed to losing fights to unknown fighters of late?

Just last week, his boxer Rofhiwa Maemu lost on points over eight rounds to unknown Ruslan Kamirov in Russia.

While the boxing fraternity is still trying to come to terms with Maemu's loss to a boxer a supposedly inferior opponent, Mutavhatsindi jets off to the same country today.

His other charge, Tsiko Mulovhedzi, will attempt to redeem himself by winning the lesser-known WBA Asian East welterweight title on Monday.

Mulovhedzi, who has become a pale shadow of the amazing fighter who stopped Ali Funeka in five rounds for the IBO belt in 2015, will take on five-fight newcomer Shakhabas Makhmudov.

The 22-year-old boxer from Makhachkala has boxed only eight rounds in the professional ranks while 36-year-old Mulovhedzi, from Vhembe, has boxed 164 rounds in 24 fights.

Mulovhedzi is coming off consecutive losses, to Laszlo Toth for the IBO Intercontinental title and Zino Meuli for the WBF International title in Switzerland.

The former South African champion has 12 wins, nine losses and three draws.

Said Mutavhatsindi: "Tsiko's fight next week is a matter of do or die. It is a matter of go hunting or be hunted.

"We've prepared the same way we did when he challenged Ali Funeka. "Defeat in this WBA Asian fight could signal the end of Tsiko's career but I can tell you that we are bringing this title back."

Maemu, meanwhile, should have been too much for a seven-fight novice like his conqueror Kamirov.

Yet it was not his first defeat in Russia, having previously lost to Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov for the IBO junior-lightweight title there.

The truth is that Maemu has never been the same since he parted ways with trainer Alan Toweel Junior.

Mutavhatsindi is, however, remembered for the sterling job he did with Bukiwe Nonina, making her the first female boxer in local boxing history to claim ownership of the South African championship belt after the five required title defences.

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