Ilunga Makabu defends his WBC cruiserweight Title championship against Thabiso Mchunu on Saturday night with plenty at stake. To the winner goes the spoils, including a money fight” with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Makabu (28-2-0, 25 KOs) is slightly favored on the boxing betting lines. Mchunu (23-5-0, 13 KOs) will look to avenge his loss to Makabu in 2015.
- Date: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
- Venue: Packard Music Hall, Warren, Ohio
- Watch on: Pay-per-view
There will be 6⃣ title fights, including the WBC Cruiserweight and WBA Heavyweight titles on this Don King card
TREVOR BRYAN vs. JONATHAN GUIDRY👑
ILUNGA MAKABU vs. THABISO MCHUNU👑
On 1/29, witness a return to greatness🔝
— FITE (@FiteTV) January 20, 2022
Ilunga Makabu vs Thabiso Mchunu
- Weight Class: Cruiserweight (200 lbs)
- Rounds: 12 (Championship Main Event)
- Moneyline: Thabiso Mchunu +135, Ilunga Makabu -165
- Total: TBD
The last time Makabu and Mchunu fought was nearly seven years ago and few folks outside of Africa may have heard of it or seen it. Makabu finished Makabu in the 11th round in what was a fun back-and-forth. Since then, Makabu has gone 9-1-0, winning the cruiserweight title in 2020, while Mchunu has gone 7-4, though he has won four straight.
Mchunu Hungry to Avenge Defeat
“Ask and you shall receive.” This is exactly what Mchunu pushed for when talks of Alvarez and Makabu began to surface after the former’s grudge fight with Caleb Plant. Instead, Mchunu not only has a chance to avenge one of his five career defeats but also a shot at earning a massive payday in the form of a bout with Alvarez.
Mchunu got derailed after losing to Makabu, going 3-3. But after avenging his loss against Thomas Oosthuizen, Mchunu has been on fire. Most impressively, he put on a clinic against Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Tishchenko and handed him his first pro loss. This was right after beating former unified cruiserweight champ Denis Lebedev.
With his head back firmly on his shoulders, Mchunu will prove to be a tough test for the top cruiserweights. His elusive and fleet-footed style gives him an edge.
Makabu Gunning for Bigger Things
Makabu may be headed for his biggest fight since Tony Bellew, but he must turn back an old foe in Mchunu. Makabu already dusted Mchunu annd is the bigger and more powerful boxer. But he isn’t less technical, either.
In fact, Makabu is proficient and has an awkward style that can make him a difficult matchup. He loves to fight at close range, which could also lead to his downfall, as we saw against Bellew. Fortunately for Makabu, not all cruiserweights he fights are behemoths like Bellew.
Against smaller 200-pounders like Mchunu, Makabu should have no issues asserting his style. He’s a slight underdog thanks to the improvements Mchunu has made. But punch-for-punch, Makabu has a sizable advantage and he’s a great bet online at his current price.
Makabu vs Mchunu: Who Wins?
The stakes are doubled as Makabu and Mchunu collide. The African fighters are built similarly, though Makabu has a slight size and reach advantage as well as being heavier handed. This will prove to be the difference-maker as he will eventually catch and hurt Mchunu.
We’re not sure if Makabu can finish Mchunu, though given the stakes, they may have a “kill or be killed” mentality as this is their make-or-break fight. Wait on the BetUS online Sportsbook for the round totals and bet the under if it’s at an underdog price. But as far as a straight pick, Makabu should be able to get it done either via decision or another late KO.