Ilunga Makabu vs. Thabiso Mchunu 2 betting odds, preview, and pick

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Danny Howard

January 24th, 2022

Ilunga Makabu and Thabiso Mchunu will face off on Saturday, Jan. 29 for the WBC cruiserweight title and a potential shot at Saul Alvarez. 

Let's dig into their bout, beginning with the latest betting odds available.

Sun, January 30 2022, 1:00 AM

Makabu, Ilunga



Mchunu, Thabiso



Makabu defending title and shot at Canelo

Fight fans can be forgiven if the first time they heard about Makabu was when he was shockingly mentioned as Saul Alvarez’s next possible opponent. However, Makabu must get past Mchunu again in order to preserve his chances at securing Alvarez in the coming months.

Despite his glossy record, high KO percentage, and title, Makabu isn’t a lock here. His bout with Mchunu in May 2015 was a tough fight that was up in the air until he was able to land enough shots to down him in the 11th round.

Ilunga Makabu vs. Thabiso Mchunu tale of the tape

Ilunga Makabuvs.Thabiso Mchunu
28-2 (25 KO)
22-5 (13 KO)
5-0 (3 KO)
Last 5 Fights
4-1 (1 KO)

Mchunu is looking to avenge his 2015 loss

Mchunu hasn’t had a strong performance since the loss to Makabu, but he’s put enough wins together to warrant a mandatory title shot. Victories over a past prime Denis Lebedev and nine-fight veteran Evgeny Tishchenko highlight his recent successes, but Mchunu has struggled with consistency his entire career.

For what it’s worth, he seemed well on his way to beating Makabu before he got tired and was stopped late. Recent form suggests that Mchunu is declining, but a familiar foe might bring out a strong performance.

Makabu will have an easier time in the rematch

This fight will make it clear why Alvarez is willing to risk moving up to cruiserweight. We’ve seen both fighters defeated rather easily when they each fought world-class opponents, and they’d be significant underdogs against the true elite in the division.

Considering Makabu’s advantage in power and slight advantages in height and reach, as well as the strength of his previous win over Mchunu, he should have an easy time here. Mchunu has gone off the rails since their first fight, only recently picking up some momentum against ghastly opposition.

Makabu should be the fresher fighter in the ring and has shown some signs of evolving in his career. While Mchunu can still slow the fight down and hold his ground during some opening exchanges, the fight will settle down in the middle rounds with Makabu doing the better work. Expect Makabu to beat Mchunu again, this time by decision.

Boxing pick: Makabu