Ilunga Makabu-Thabiso Mchunu Headline Don King Show Saturday
Coming up Saturday night in Warren, Ohio, 90 year old famed promoter Don “Only in America” King is back…albeit will lesser fanfare and attention, as his “Return to Greatness” card takes place. And, the main event will have some interest, as WBC Cruiserweight title holder Ilunga “Junior” Makabu will take on Thabiso Mchunu in the 12 round main event.
“Makabu will defend his world title against WBC Cruiserweight Silver Champion Mchunu in the main event, while WBA Heavyweight Champion Trevor Bryan will square off against WBA No. 13-ranked Heavyweight Contender Jonathan Guidry on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the W.D. Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio.
All four fighters joined eight others who will compete for four more championship belts in the final press conference for Don King Productions’ “RETURN TO GREATNESS” on Wednesday at the Grand Hotel. Johnnie Langston (9-3, 3 KOs) of Sarasota, Fla, will square off against Nick Kisner (22-5-1, 6 KOs) of Baltimore, Md., in a 10-round bout for the NABA Cruiserweight title and Ahmed Hefny (13-1, 5 KOs) of Queens, N.Y., takes on undefeated Decatur, Ga., prospect Dacarree Scott, who has a perfect record of 6-0 with 6 KOs.
Plus, West Virginia’s Cody Wilson (10-3, 7 KOs) meets New York’s Tre’Sean Wiggins (12-5-3, 6 KOs) in an NABA Middleweight Title Bout and the NABA Middleweight Championship will be up for grabs as local product Michael Moore (18-3, 8 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio, will meet Anthony Lenk (17-7, 7 KOs) of Niagara Falls, NY.
Warren Mayor William D. Franklin declared January 26, 2022, Don King Day in Warren, Ohio, presenting the legendary 90-year-old Hall of Fame promoter with a special “Don King Day” Proclamation plaque.
“We’re going to have a sensational evening of boxing. I am very pleased to be home again,” King told the media at a press conference Wednesday.
“It will give people a chance to have fun again. No one should take it lightly. It would be much better if you take the vaccinations and the shot, where your mask and socially distance.
We are here to give you a moment of respite. Hey everybody, let’s have some fun. Live it once, and when you’re dead, you’re done. No matter whether you are young or old, let the good times roll.”
For his part Makabu has the most at stake, potentially, Saturday night. This, as we wrote earlier Thursday that he could be part of the the plans of Canelo Alvarez later this year. Alvarez’s management have expressed they’d like to fight him for the WBC Cruiserweight title in the short term.
Makabu said about his second title defense,
I hope everybody knows who I am. I’m very thankful for this opportunity to be here today in front of you guys. I’m very thankful to Don King Productions for making this event happen because plenty of events have been disturbed by COVID. I’m very happy to be here and to have the opportunity to defend our title on January 29. I don’t have much to say.
I just want to say good luck to my opponent Thabiso Mchunu because this is the second time I’m fighting him now. Thanks to all who come to support us. Thanks to my team. Enjoy the fight on the 29th.”
Makabu is referencing having knocked out Mchunu earlier in their careers in May of 2015.
As for the WBA “regular” Heavyweight title bout in the co-feature for King, the New York native Bryan has four straight KO’s including over former WBC champ, Bermane Stiverne last January. He is a huge favorite to wipe out lesser known Guidry from Louisiana.
Neither fighter, however, will get anywhere near a legitimate world title shot any time soon in 2022, no matter what happens Saturday.