Xolisa Magusha knows he fell short last time, but he’s returning to Emperors Palace next month with a warning for DeeJay Kriel – “I’m coming to get you,” he says.
In April last year, the pair fought an entertaining eight-rounder with Kriel snatching a solid points win. Relentless Magusha had his moments, but Kriel’s defence and inside boxing won the day.
Since then, however, Magusha has reeled off two top wins, the last of them for the SA minimumweight title.
“I’m now fighting as a champion,” said the East London southpaw. “I will come to box. Kriel is very clever. I made mistakes last time, not enough head movement, but I’ll be ready for whatever he brings next month.
“The SA title means a lot. I’m a better fighter and confident now as champion. You tell Kriel . . . it won’t be easy for him.”
Kriel himself has been in excellent form, boxing superbly to beat Dexter Alimento, his first international opponent, and then seeing off Thembelani Okolo.
If he’s tempted to look past Magusha, it would be a mistake. The challenger for his WBC International belt is a better fighter than a year ago, having made adjustments and worked extra hard for his big moment.
The Magusha-Kriel rematch is on the undercard of the Kevin Lerena-Dmytro Kucher IBO cruiserweight title fight on March 3.