The WBC May Soon Order Ilunga Makabu v Aleksei Papin Rematch
WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga “Junior” Makabu (29-2, 25KO) won his rematch against arch-rival Thabiso Mchunu in January. Next, he could fight another rematch against Aleksei Papin (14-1, 13KO).
Makabu first came into the limelight after undisputed super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez tried to fight him back in 2021. The fight was scrapped after mandatory challenger Mchunu threw a monkey wrench in their plans by refusing to step aside.
The WBC champion narrowly held on to the title via split decision. Hoping the Canelo fight was still an option, he quickly called out Alvarez. However, Alvarez shifted his focus on capturing the undisputed crown, and the rest is history.
A REMATCH THREE YEARS IN THE MAKING
Fast forward to today, and Makabu may have to fight the WBC number one contender in Papin. These two men are not strangers, as they have traded leather back in 2019, with Makabu winning by a razor-thin majority decision.
The 34-year-old Russian has won three fights in a row by knockout, earning the top spot by the WBC to land on the path of the champion. Papin has been waiting for three years to get revenge on Makabu, who took away his undefeated record. A chance at winning the WBC title could be the icing on the cake.
By: Garrisson Bland