Saturday 31 August 2013: Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa

Eric Fields (right) posing with Ilungu Makabu

WBC Silver cruiserweight title – 12 Rounds

Ilunga Makabu 14(13)-1 vs. Eric Fields 22(16)-1

So the best card this weekend is in South Africa — which kind of sucks for us since South African cards tend to never find their way on the Internet. But if you are from South Africa and you’re itching to see an amazing card, buy tickets to this pronto.

Makabu is coming off an upset win over Dmytro Kucher which shocked cruiserweight fans. That’s 3 undefeated fighters in a row that has won against — the other two being Tamas Lodi and Gogita Gorgiladze. Lodi and Gorgiladze were obscure, but Kucker was a hotshot prospect who was regarded as a strong up-and-comer.

With an 87% KO ratio, Makabu is know for his brute power punctuated by hard hooks and uppercuts. Previously thought of as crude, Makabu showed recently that he can win by decision by out-hustling and outmuscling his opponents.

So how is Makabu maintaining his momentum? By facing off against Fields who is a solid veteran. Though Fields has yet to have his title shot, the only loss on his record is against Ola Afolabi — the very same Afolabi who’s given us the exciting trilogy against Marco Huck.

The fight against Afolabi happened in 2008. Since then, Fields has yet to fight another boxer of the same calibre. Next to Afolabi, Makabu should be regarded as Fields’ best opposition to date.

Prediction: Makabu by KO7.

Vacant WBC International Silver light heavyweight title – 12 Rounds

Ryno Liebenberg 12(8)-0 vs. Gabriel Arturo Ramirez 13(7)-4-1

Liebenberg has done an excellent job of thoughtfully building his career while maintaining a 67% KO ratio. Along the way, he’s collected a handful of trinkets while beating the likes of Johnny Muller and David Basajjamivule.

From what I’ve seen of Liebenberg, he’s got solid fundamentals with a popping jab. He’s not slick or fancy, but if he hurts you, he knows how to finish.

Regarding Ramirez, his record is deceiving. His four losses and draw all occurred within his first 6 fights. He has won the rest of his 12 fights and recorded 7 KOs in the process. Along the way he’s won against Pablo Nievas, Richard Vidal, and the previously undefeated Lucas Luna.

Simply put, this is a very even match-up.

Prediction: Liebenberg by UD.

WBC International light flyweight title – 12 Rounds

Benezer Alolod 12(2)-4-4 vs. Nkosinathi Joyi 23(16)-2

This is last chance saloon for Joyi. Until last year he was regarded as #1 at minimumweight. Since then, he’s lost 2 of his last 3 fights: once to Mario Rodriguez, and again to Hekkie Budler.

Previously known for his clever speedy style, Joyi has visibly slown down as of late. The question is: does Joyi have any fight left in him?

Previous version of Alolod would have run roughshod over Joyi. The only significant opponent on Alolod’s resume is Ryu Onigashima — from which Alolod won the WBC International Title, KOing Onigashima in the process.

That being said, Alolod has many losses and draws to journeymen who have no business on the world scene.

Prediction: Joyi by UD.

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