Maemu tips Fuzile over Russian foe

Rufhiwa Maemu and Joey Stigling in this file picture.
Rufhiwa Maemu and Joey Stigling in this file picture.

Rofhiwa "War Child" Maemu has tipped Azinga "Golden Boy" Fuzile to emerge victorious but on points in his tough assignment against dangerous foe Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov on September 29.

Maemu is the pressure cooker who felt the difference in power between the two boxers.

Fuzile defeated him on points after 12 closely contested rounds in 2017, while the Russian forced Maemu to retire going for the fifth round in March.

Fuzile and Rakhimov will fight for the No1 spot in the IBF's junior lightweight rankings. That 12-rounder is the official elimination bout for the rights to challenge current IBF junior lightweight holder, the USA's Tevin Farmer.

Fuzile, 23, is currently rated No 4. The 24-year-old Rakhimov is rated No 5. They will headline Rumble Africa Promotions tournament at Orient Theatre in East London.

Fuzile has previously held the SA, WBC Youth and IBF Continental Africa featherweight titles. He is the IBF Inter-Continental junior lightweight champion. Rakhimov holds the IBO junior lightweight belt.

Fuzile and Rakhimov are both undefeated after 14 fights. Fuzile has eight stoppages, while Rakhimov has 11 knockouts.

Maemu said: "If the fight goes 12 rounds Azinga will win on points. Rakhimov has power to end it within the scheduled 12-rounds distance. Azinga is just marvellous in skills and I want him to win. He must just avoid mixing it with Rakhimov. Azinga has got a very good corner man in coach Colin Nathan who I believe has studied Rakhimov well. Colin is up there among the best coaches."