The manager of former cruiserweight world title challenger Ilunga ‘Junior’ Makabu has confirmed an application has been made for the fighter to compete in the forthcoming World Boxing Super Series.
Ahead of the recently announced draw taking place on July 8, Makaub has thrown his hat into the ring in order to have a chance of winning the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy next year.
Eight 200 pounders will compete in the tournament which has a bracket-style blueprint, with one eventual winner gaining the Ali prize and versions of the cruiserweight world champiomship.
WBC belt holder Mairis Breidis has already signed up, whilst IBF holder Murat Gassiev and WBA ‘regular’ champion Yunier Dorticos have done likewise. The other competitor signed up so far is ex-WBC ruler Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
Makabu’s handler Tarik Saadi is now hopeful the 29 year-old Congan southpaw can join them after getting back to winning way this year following a crushing loss to Tony Bellew in 2016.
“Ilunga Makabu wishes to box for the World Boxing Super Series and ‘Mohamed Ali Trophy’. He has already participated in big challenges before and wants to fight the best cruiserweights in the world,” Saadi exclusively told World Boxing News this weekend.
“The last time he fought on world level he made a mistake against Bellew, but now he has learned and is focused for fight a big name in the division. This Trophy offers Makabu this possibility.
“Previously, he fought in Kinshasa against Glen Johnson for the 40th anniversary of Ali vs Forman in 2014 and now he would be proud to fight for the Mohamed Ali trophy because he would the first African cruiserweight in the world representing the African continent in this amazing challenge.
“As things stand, we have applied through the recruitment process of the WBSS and we hope to be selected,” he added.
With just two losses in 22 contests, Makabu has the credentials to be an opponent for one of the seeded boxers in the Quarter-Finals and there seems no reason why the application wouldn’t be accepted by the WBSS.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay