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Ilunga Makabu in pursuit of coveted WBC belt

Ilunga Makabu was not even born when his country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, hosted what would be a historic heavyweight world boxing championship fight between Americans Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

The WBC and WBA title fight which Ali won via an eighth round stoppage took place at the 20th May Stadium in Zaire, now known as DRC, on October 30 1974.

The fight was dubbed "Rumble in the Jungle" by American promoter Don King who is said to have initially tagged it "From the slave ship to the Championship" until that country's president Mobutu Sese Seko caught wind of the idea and ordered all the posters to be burned.

Mobutu paid each fighter $5m simply for showing up, hoping the fight would draw the world's attention to the country's enormous beauty and vast reserves of natural resources.

Today, that country's bright light, 32-year-old Makabu from Kananga, will be involved in another history-making bout. This happens 45 years since the Rumble in Jungle.

Makabu, who is trained in Joburg by Damien Durandt, will welcome Michal Cieslak from Poland for the WBC cruiserweight vacant title.

Makabu has more experience compared to his 30-year-old foe who is undefeated in 19 fights with 13 knockouts. Makabu has 24 knockouts in 26 wins and two losses. He captured the WBC Silver belt which he vacated in November paving way for Thabiso Mchunu to fght for and win it in December in Russia

Victory will make him one of the few Africans who have held the WBC belt - which is regarded as the most prestigious world title of them all. Formed in 1963, the WBC belt is what every fighter wants.

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