Two days after his explosive performance against Tshifhiwa Munyai, Azinga Fuzile continues to be the talk of the town.
Fuzile dismantled the former Commonwealth bantamweight and IBO junior-featherweight champion in three painfully one-sided rounds to install himself as favourite for the Super Four featherweight tournament, which culminates at Emperors Palace on March 3.
“I told anyone who would listen that this boxer was special; now they’ve seen for themselves,” enthused promoter Rodney Berman. “The maturity he displayed for someone so young was remarkable. He’s a real talent and I look forward to seeing much more of him.”
Fuzile’s opponent next March will be Lerato Dlamini, who upset Simpiwe Vetyeka over 10 rounds. Dlamini showed vigour and determination against the wily veteran, but he must somehow overcome the southpaw’s devastating speed and good angles in the final.
There is much at stake for the winner of the WBC-sanctioned event – R300 000 first prize and a guaranteed spot on a tournament bill in the US.
Meanwhile, Ryno Liebenberg guaranteed himself a crack at the ABU title and a likely top 15 place in the WBC’s super-middleweight rakings with a feisty defeat of dangerous Patrick Mukala. Showing impressive strength and resolve at the weight, Liebenberg’s performance underlined the view that he might have wasted much of his career fighting at light-heavyweight.
Berman supports this opinion: “With the benefit of hindsight, this is his real division. He looked so comfortable and never struggled at all with the weight.”
Liebenberg’s plan had been to take the DRC boxer into deep water, and so it proved. The less experienced Mukala’s spirit sagged as the fight wore on with Liebenberg seeming to get stronger on a night that showed he still has much fight left in him.
Berman is shopping around for an opponent for Liebenberg for March and says he might even plump for someone local, perhaps Lee Dyer or Alfonso Tissen.
Berman also had praise for strawweight DeeJay Kriel, who was given a solid test by rugged Thembelani Okolo. “He’s grown into a very good fighter and showed his mojo against Okolo, who fought very well.”
The other headliner on March 3 will be Kevin Lerena in defence of his IBO cruiserweight belt. Berman has lined up a US-based opponent, who will be announced in coming days.