‘The Rock’ eager to turn things around in must-win bout

Thabiso Mchunu – fighting to win, and for pride.

Having overcome a troublesome elbow injury, Thabiso Mchunu is hungry to fight again.

More importantly, he’s eager to get back on the winning wagon after disappointing in his last outing against unheralded Constantin Bejenaru in November.

The cruiserweight knows he didn’t do his talent justice, but intends to atone when he fights countryman Tommy Oosthuizen in a big fight at Emperors Palace in June.

Given Oosthuizen’s status – one defeat in 30 fights and general reckoning as one of the most naturally talented fighters in the light-heavyweight division – Mchunu sees the fight as a means to re-establish himself after losing his way in recent years.

Trainer Sean Smith explains: “We’re very happy to take this fight, which is winnable. We’ve had offers to fight in Russia, mainly because they consider Thabiso a journeyman of sorts. We don’t want to go down that road, especially as you need a knockout to win up there. It’s a very tough division, but I feel he can get his career back on track going the local route first. He’s keen, training hard and staying in shape. He lives a clean life with no clubbing or drinking.

“We’re still excited about his career. There’s a lot of movement in the cruiserweight division with the World Boxing Super Series on the go. There are a lot of offers on the table, so if he can resurrect his game . . .”

As with most, Smith just hopes that Oosthuizen won’t have “issues” that jeopardise the fight.

For all his blazing talent, the wayward former IBO champion has frittered away many opportunities and is on thin ice with Golden Gloves – and other promoters.

This, too, represents a shot at redemption for “Tommy Gun”.

The coming weeks will tell us all we need to know.