Wednesday, January 19, 2022  |


Ilunga Makabu-Thabiso Mchunu official for January 29, Trevor Bryan added to card

Ilunga Makabu

The January 29 cruiserweight rematch between WBC titleholder Ilunga Makabu and Thabiso Mchunu was officially announced Saturday afternoon.

The 12-round bout, which was actually confirmed in October, will take place at the Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio, and will headline a fight card promoted by Don King.

This fight received attention in recent weeks after Canelo Alvarez announced that he was moving up in weight to challenge for the world cruiserweight title at the annual WBC convention in Mexico City. The WBC Board of Governors approved Alvarez as the mandatory challenger after Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s manager and trainer, made the request at the convention.

Makabu (28-2, 25 knockouts), who is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and now resides in Johannesburg, South Africa, won the vacant WBC title by defeating Michal Cieslak of Poland by unanimous decision in January 2020. His first defense was a devastating seventh-round knockout of Olanrewaju Durodola.

The 34-year-old has won his last nine fights since losing by third-round knockout to Tony Bellew in May 2016.

Mchunu (23-5, 13 KOs), who resides in Cato Ridge, South Africa, outpointed the previously-unbeaten Evgeny Tishchenko in his last bout on March 27. He has won his last four bouts since losing by majority decision to countryman Thomas Oosthuizen in November 2018. Mchunu, who is rated No. 4 by The Ring, would avenge that loss three months later, defeating Oosthuizen by unanimous decision.

The 33-year-old challenged then-WBO cruiserweight titleholder Oleksandr Usyk in December 2016, losing by ninth-round knockout.

In their first bout, Makabu, who is rated No. 2 by The Ring at 200 pounds, stopped Mchunu in 11 rounds.

Unbeaten heavyweight Trevor Bryan (21-0, 15 KOs) of Schenectady, New York, will also fight on the card. January 29 will mark the one-year anniversary of his last bout, when he knocked out Bermane Stiverne in 11 rounds.

No word on what carrier will televise or stream the card.


Francisco A. Salazar can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing



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