Thabiso Mchunu’s run towards another world championship starts next month when he fights unbeaten Constantin Bejenaru for the WBC International cruiserweight championship in the US.
Given the dynamic nature of the division, buoyed by the World Boxing Super Series, a win could put Mchunu right into the pound seats. At the very least, it will earn him a top 10 spot in the WBC where he’ll find fellow South African Kevin Lerena, who is ranked fifth.
This would give South Africa two big-time players in a very viable division.
Elite cruiserweights like Marco Huck, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (No 2), Mike Perez (No 8) and Dmitry Kudryashov (No 11) have been eliminated, which opens all sorts of possibilities for the SA pair.
Anything but a comprehensive win by Mchunu would be considered a step back if he is to rumble with the bigger names out there. Southpaw Bejenaru is unbeaten and considered to be very dangerous. Indeed, he won’t be awed by Mchunu, having won against unbeaten fighters in his past two outings.
“The future is very exciting,” enthused promoter Rodney Berman, who negotiated with US counterpart Joe de Guardia for this opportunity. “To have two South Africans in the WBC top 10 would be tremendous. Kevin Lerena has done everything asked of him so far and Thabiso has been there and done it . . . he knows the score.”
The Mchunu-Bejenaru fight takes place in Connecticut on November 25, while Berman is putting signatures to Lerena’s contract for a fight against a US opponent in early 2018.