Which Mchunu will show up for WBC title bout?

Smith hoping for something special from The Rock

Thabiso Mchunu defeating Daniel Venter during their ABU Cruiserweight Title at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni.
Thabiso Mchunu defeating Daniel Venter during their ABU Cruiserweight Title at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni.
Image: Antonio Muchave

Trainer Sean Smith summed it up nicely yesterday when he said if his boxer Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu really felt good, he could do wonders when he defends his WBC Silver cruiserweight belt against Russian rookie Evgeny Tishchenko in Yekaterinburg in Russia tomorrow.

On a good night the talented ring veteran is as hot as hell. Opponents just find it impossible to live with him  in the roped square. But on a bad night the left-handed boxer can easily make you dislike him. Mchunu just loses interest and gives up the fight.

By rights, Mchunu should overwhelm Tishchenko in every department and set himself up for a rematch with WBC champ Ilunga Makabu. The fight tomorrow night is for both the WBC Silver belt and a crack at the WBC belt held by Congolese Makabu. 

Mchunu is rated No 1 while the Russian is yet to convince the WBC's ratings committee. Mchunu has everything going for him – longevity, big-fight temperament, experience and class. He has been a pro boxer since 2007 and been involved in more than 20 championship fights with 185 rounds of boxing. Mchunu has chalked up 22 wins, 13 by knockout. Tishchenko, 29, has won all eight of his fights, with six knockouts.

Said Smith: “I think if Thabiso is really feeling good and has a good night he can do something special on the night. Thabiso feels and looks great. But we know we have a task ahead of us; nothing is easy at this level. But we are excited for the opportunity of defending our title. It takes Thabiso one step closer to the world title. We are blessed to be in this position and [would] really like to make the most of it. We are up for the win.”

Lunga Stemela and Koos Sibiya are also on the same bill. Stemela, whose career is guided in Cape Town by veteran trainer Emille Brice, will face Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov for the WBC International junior-lightweight title.

Sibiya, trained by Charity Mukondeleli, will face Zoravor Petrosian in a non-title fight.

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