Tsiko Mulovhedzi says he will not disappoint his home fans when he defends his International Boxing Organisation (IBO) welterweight title against Mexico’s Jesús Gurrola.
The two will exchange blows at the Ngoako Ramatlhodi Indoor Sports Centre in Seshego, Limpopo, on Friday. Also at stake will be the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) international welterweight championship.
Mulovhedzi, who comes from Thohoyandou in the same province, will be making a first appearance in Limpopo in almost 10 years. He last fought in Thohoyandou in July 2006 when he beat Henry Ngubane on points over eight rounds.
Since then, Mulovhedzi has fought in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. He has had three last bouts in the latter province, where his fights were showcased by Andile Matiti of Xaba Promotions.
He was impressive in his previous showing, in which he dethroned Ali “Rush Hour” Funeka via a fifth-round stoppage to win the IBO belt at the International Convention Centre in East London last July.
He will put his championship on the line against Gurrola.
“This fight means a lot to me because I will be defending my title in front of my home fans in Limpopo,” said Mulovhedzi.
“I cannot afford to slip up. I have trained hard and will give my supporters a present by making a successful defence on my home turf.”
Mulovhedzi comes into the fight with a record of 10 wins, seven defeats and three draws in 20 outings.
Gurrola will be relying on his superior experience to board the plane home with the crown.
The Mexican’s CV reflects 21 victories, seven losses and three stalemates from 31 outings. His last bout was a unanimous points-decision victory over compatriot Humberto Gutierrez in November.
The fight is likely to see both pugilists going toe to toe and throwing rapid body punches.
If Mulovhedzi can perform against Gurrola as he did against Funeka, he should emerge the victor.
The main bout on the undercard of the Consortium of African Promoters’ bill will feature the IBO junior bantamweight championship between southpaw Gideon Buthelezi and Argentinian Diego Liriano. Buthelezi’s championship belt will be at stake. He won the then vacant crown by beating Makazole Tete at the Orient Theatre, East London, in December.