It will be a battle of the southpaws this weekend when Thabiso Mchunu begins his journey back to the top 10 against dangerous and unbeaten Constantin Bejenaru in the US on Saturday.
Officially they will be fighting for the WBC Continental Americas cruiserweight and WBC International titles, but far more important is Mchunu’s ambition to get back into the reckoning. He cannot afford to falter against a man who has serious designs on beating him.
The US-based Moldovan may not have big-name status, but the fact that promoter Joe De Guardia has invested in him counts for much. The canny promoter has a keen eye for hot prospects, as was evident a fortnight ago when his boxer, Cletus Seldin, upset Roberto Ortiz.
Mchunu won’t be over-awed by the occasion. He’s fought four times in the US and knows what he is up against. Unfortunately, in his last showing there, against Oleksandr Usyk last year, he came up short, so this is very much an opportunity to remind the Americans that he can still have a say in the vibrant cruiserweight division.
Bejenaru has been a quiet floater in the division, racking up solid wins against moderate opposition. At 12-0 it’s time to step up, as he will do against Mchunu.
“If Thabiso is anywhere near his best, he should have the beating of this guy,” said a confident Rodney Berman. “And if he gets the win, 2018 shapes up as a big year with big opportunities.”