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Junior Makabu Got Split Decision Win over Mchunu Saturday

Junior Makabu Got Split Decision Win over Mchunu Saturday

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Junior Makabu Got Split Decision Win over Mchunu Saturday

David Martin-Warr/Don King Productions

Junior Makabu Got Split Decision Win over Mchunu Saturday

It wasn’t easy, but WBC Crusierweight World Champion Ilunga “Junior” Makabu successfully defended his title via a split decision over contender, and fellow African, Thabiso Mchunu on Saturday night in Warren, Ohio.

The pair of southpaws fought at close quarters throughout the bout with Mchunu seemingly getting the better of the champion by scoring first with right jabs and left hooks. But, Makabuu, now 29-2, rallied late and did enough for the judges to win a split decision of 115 – 113 and 116 – 112 on two of the cards, while the Challenger Mchunu got the 115-113 nod on the 3rd scorecard. There were no knockdowns and neither fighter was ever in serious trouble over the 36 minutes.

The bout was the main event for ninety-year-old Don King’s promotion called “Return to Greatness,” as he came back to his hometown of Warren, Ohio, to promote the championship fights. And, the bout was a rematch, as Makabu had won the previous meeting between the two by 11th round KO in 2015.

Makabu, the native of the Congo, did seem to score more clearly, especially in the last couple of rounds the fight to help him pull it out. Makabu was making the second defense of his world title that he won decision over Michal Cieslak in January of 2020.

As we have written, Makabu is also, now a possibility for current Undisputed Super Middleweight World Champion, Canelo Alvarez. Canelo could look to move up to Cruiserweight and challenge Makabu at some point in 2022 for what would be his fifth world title in a different weight division.

Earlier in the co-feature, WBA “regular” Heavyweight champ Trevor Bryan remained unbeaten with a 12 round split decision win over late replacement Jonathan Guidry. The New Yorker Bryan, now 22-0, controlled the fight with his superior height and reach landing repeated jabs and straight right hands. Guidry from Louisiana was able to occasionally land counter left hooks, but nothing sustained.

Bryan wore down Guidry, who took the fight on 8 days notice, and eventually dropped him with a barrage of punches at the end of the 12th scoring a knockdown with :02 remaining. Guidry rose wearily after the bell to go to the cards.

Still, one judge gave the challenger an amazing 115-112 edge on his card, while the other two had the champion Bryan winning 118-109 and 116-111.

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A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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