Do not write off Tsiko Mulovhedzi yet, pleads Mutavhatsindi

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

Trainer Emanuel Mutavhatsindi says it is still too early to write off Tsiko "Cruel Junior" Mulovhedzi who has lost three consecutive fights.

The former SA and IBO welterweight champion's career seems to be heading for the scrapheap.

Mulovhedzi's fistic career was once flourishing, especially after the former musangwe (bare-knuckle boxing) fighter registered four defences of the domestic belt which the hard hitter won against Boitshepo Mandawe in 2012.

Mandawe was under attained trainer Nick Durandt while the then unknown Mulovhedzi was under the tutelage of emerging trainers and former pro boxers in John Tshabalala and Springkaan Kongoane.

Mulovhedzi confirmed a brighter future ahead of him when he knocked out dangerous accomplished boxer Ali Funeka five times before forcing referee Deon Dware to eventually rescue a visibly vanquished Funeka from total destruction.

That's how Funeka lost his IBO strap, in front of home fans in East London, Eastern Cape, on July 15 2015.

Mulovhedzi chalked up two more wins - one was for the IBF Inter-Continental welterweight belt - which he lost on the scale after failing to make the required weight limit for his defence against Laszlo Toth of Hungary.

Looking like someone, who was nowhere near the gym, Mulovhedzi lost that fight in Seshego on October 27 2017.

The boxer changed trainers and teamed up with Mutavhatsindi, whose first assignment was in Switzerland where Mulovhedzi lost to undefeated Swiss man Zino Meuli, for the IBF International title on August 25 last year.

After this frustrating loss, on July 22 they proceeded to Russia where Mulovhedzi lost to unknown five-fight novice Shakhabas Makhmudov for the vacant WBA East Asian welterweight title.

The loss was Mulovhedzi's 10th against 12 wins and three draws. Mutavhatsindi made a plea with fight fans not to write off his charge just yet.

"There is still firepower in Tsiko. The Russians are hard to beat. They are not only good in manufacturing weapons, but in boxing as well; they are tough and they can take a punch," he said.

The big-punching Russian had never gone full distance in his fights.

The 22-year-old Makhmudov was too fast and strong for the 32-year-old South African.

Makhmudov was deducted a point by referee Semen Stakheev in the ninth round for a low blow after two previous warnings.

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