They may not be massive names, but cruiserweight warriors Illunga Makabu and Olanewaju Durodola have between them given is some great action fights. And as has been reported by Dan Rafael, the two will collide in Kinshasa on December 19.
This all-African 200-pound clash might result in something quite special. Makabu, 27-2(24) will be making the first defense of the WBC belt he won by defeating Michal Cieslak back in January; this fight also taking place in Kinshasa (scene of course of the celebrated “Rumble In The Jungle” between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman).
Durodola is currently 34-7(31), and the 40-year-old has to know he may never get another big opportunity should he lose this fight.
Makabu, aged 33 and a southpaw, is perhaps best known for his losing fight with Tony Bellew, That stoppage loss came back in 2016, and Makabu has won eight fights on the bounce since then.
Like Durodola, Makabu went to war with Russian cruiserweight beast Dmitry Kudryashov. In fact, the war Makabu had with Kudryashov and the two thrilling slugfests Durodola had with Kudryashov were awesome to see.
Makabu had to take some heavy leather before coming on to sop Kudryashov, while Durodola won his first fight with the bearded brute but was then stopped in the return.
If Makabu and Durodola give us action as they each gave us in shooting it out with Kudryashov, we will be in for a terrific fight on December 19.
The addition of the cruiserweight title fight makes the end of the year schedule even stronger. We have the GGG-Szemereta fight on Dec. 18, the Canelo-Callum Smith fight on Dec. 19, and now this potential 200-pound explosion.
Again, neither Makabu nor Durodola are what you could call big-name fighters, but both men can sure fight hard. Makabu has to be the pick to win: he is younger, he has a better record, and he is the champion.
But Durodola, who has won his last five fights since losing to Cieslak (Cieslak, another common opponent these two have), is a dangerous operator.
It seems there is just no way this fight will be a dull affair. Both guys have hit the floor several times, sometimes getting up to win, and there is a heck of a chance both guys will taste the canvas in this fight also.
A distance fight here does not look likely. It might not be “The Rumble In The Jungle,” but Makabu Vs. Durodola could prove to be a fight worthy of being given a tag-line all of its own.