Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Meet Ilunga 'Junior' Makubu.

Ilunga Makubu is a stranger to these shores, but on Sunday night he fights Tony Bellew in Liverpool for the WBC cruiserweight title..  The compact Makubu turned pro in 2008 in Hammanskraal North Africa, losing his first ever professional fight by knockout to khayeni Hlungwane in a first round shocker... this didn't deter Makubu, who would win his next 13 fights by stoppage or knockout, beating the once fancied Collice Mutizwa in the first round in Brakpan in 2011. Makubu has boxed several times up at heavyweight, including the Mutizwa fight, yet his weight has never wandered above 201..  In November of that same year Makubu would win the vacant WBC cruiserweight belt with an 11th round stoppage of the 23/1 Pedro Otas.. In 2013 Ilunga would pick up both the IBF youth cruiserweight belt by beating the unbeaten Gogita Gorgiladze (12/0) and the WBC silver title by overcoming another unbeaten prospect Dmytro Kucher (21/0) in Monaco on a Majority points decision in Makubu's only distance fight. In 2014 Makubu would take on his most experienced opponent, the American former champion Glenn Johnson (54/18/2) scoring a rare stoppage in the 9th round in Kinshasa and in his most recent bout, back in 2015 Makubu beat Thabiso Mchunu (16/1) knocking him out in the 11th round in a bout that appeared too close to call..    Ilunga or Junior as he is more better known back home is 19/1 with 18 knockouts, but has boxed 16 of his 20 bouts in his native Africa, his toughest on form opponent to date looks to be Bellew on Sunday in the biggest fight of his career so far..  The Southpaw Makubu has only actually boxed 85 rounds compared to Bellews 194 and in comparison will be dwarfed in height by the Liverpool boxer..  There is no doubt at all that Ilunga Makubu can punch, 18 knockouts tells us that, but in what company??  Sunday night may answer a lot of questions..