Fuzile geared for an IBF firestorm

Azinga eyes eliminator, picks Mexican fighter

PREMIUM

The determination to push Azinga Fuzile towards an IBF title challenge has swayed his management to settle for a Mexican instead of a Russian opponent in his April 7 ring return.
The Duncan Village star will now face Romulo Koasicha in an IBF international junior-lightweight fight in a venue yet to be determined although Port Elizabeth has emerged as a likely choice.
Fuzile, 22, was expected to face Russian Shavkat Rakhimov for the eliminator to challenge fully-fledged champion Tevin Farmer.
But according to Fuzile’s manager Colin Nathan, Rakhimov only wanted his IBO title to be at stake with no mention of an eliminator.
The Russian is rated fifth just a rung above Fuzile with the first and second spots vacant.
“There was never a mention of an IBF title eliminator from Rakhimov's camp hence we turned down the fight,” said Nathan.
The choice of Koasicha, who is not rated in the IBF, came as some sort of a surprise although the Mexican is famous for going 10 rounds with arguably the best pound for pound boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko when he lost the WBO junior-lightweight title challenge in 2015.
Nathan believes Koasicha will provide a stern test for the 13-fight novice.
“I think this guy will be the toughest fight Fuzile has ever faced in his young professional career,” he said.
There have been calls for Fuzile to elevate his level of opposition and Nathan sees the Mexican as an answer to such calls.
The 27-year-old has lost seven times in 34 bouts with most of them suffered against world-class opposition.
With a world title shot a target for this year, Fuzile is expected to walk through the Mexican to finally meet Farmer with whom he has already exchanged barbs when the American said he would “smoke” him.
Farmer, who defends his crown to Irish Jono Carroll on March 15, is expected to chase big money bouts with a target on WBA champion Gervonta Davis.
“Bottom line is we want Azinga to fight for a world title this year... be it against Farmer or anyone else if the title becomes vacant.”
Fuzile, who is often likened with Lomachenko, as they are both left-handers and have a stellar amateur record, will be eager to take even fewer rounds to stop Koasicha to prove that he is as good as the all-conquering Ukrainian.
“There is no doubt that people will judge Azinga according to his performance against Koasicha and draw comparisons with Lomachenko,” admitted Nathan.
Fuzile’s promoter Rumble Africa Promotions (RAP) said the venue of the fight will be finalised in few days’ time, with SuperSport reportedly already committed to televising the fight.
“We cannot really say it will be in Port Elizabeth before tieing up loose ends,” said RAP coordinator Mfesi Nyathela.
Fuzile was last in action this past December when he forced Tanzanian Ibraham Class to quit in seven rounds at Orient Theatre.
Two months earlier he retired former two-time IBF champion Malcolm Klassen when he forced him to quit in four rounds of a one-sided beating...

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