OLANREWAJU DURODOLA STEPS UP FOR
NABF CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT WITH MCHUNU
AS WILSON PULLS OUT DUE TO INJURY
FRIDAY, JANUARY 24th NBC SPORTS NEWORK FIGHT NIGHT
RESORTS INTERNATIONAL HOTEL AND CASINO ATLANTIC CITY
ATLANTIC CITY – When the popular nationally televised live boxing series Fight Night returns for its Friday, January 24th season opener on NBC Sports Network, the co-feature bout will be an intriguing clash for the NABF championship belt between two African cruiserweights. South African Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu, 14-1, 10 KOs, meets Olanrewaju “God’s Power” Durodola, 15-1, 14 KOs, of West Africa, in a 10-round fight at Resorts International Hotel and Casino, on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Durodola stepped in when Garrett Wilson was forced to pull out of the bout due to an injury. The fight is the main supporting bout of a card headlined by the 10-round middleweight encounter between Curtis Stevens and Patrick Majewski.
Thabiso Mchunu, of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, burst onto the US boxing scene in August with a surprising one-sided points victory over proven contender Eddie Chambers of Philadelphia. It was Mchunu’s first fight in America, and he pulled the major upset on the same Fight Night series, before a shocked US TV audience.
The victory sent a message to the rest of the cruiserweight division that Mchunu was the latest title threat in the 200-pound class. The 6-year pro had posted many other victories, but this one was heard around the globe. He takes his next step toward a title shot on January 24th, against another tough African fighter.
The little-known Olanrewaju Durodola hails from Lagos, Nigeria, but now fights out of Kansas City, KS. He’s packed in 16 fights, all in the US, since turning pro in 2011, and will look to make his name in the sport, by fashioning his own upset introduction against Mchunu. His big opportunity comes after Mchunu’s original opponent, Philadelphian Garrett Wilson, was forced out of the high-profile fight due to injury.
“I want to thank NBC, Dibella Entertainment and Main Events for giving me this opportunity to win the NABF title and to put myself in position for a world title.” said Durodola. “The NABF title has been held by so many fighters who have become world champions and I will not let Mchunu get in the way of my goals.”
Durodola added, “I respect Mchunu as an elite boxer but he has not faced anyone with the skills and power I will bring on January 24th.”
All but one of Durodola’s wins have come by knockout, and like Mchunu, has only lost one bout in his entire career. On paper, these two punchers look quite similar, but physically there are differences. At 6′ 2″ tall, Durodola will tower over Mchunu, just 5′ 8″. However, Mchunu, world ranked #4 (WBC), #8 (WBO), #10 (IBF), and #15 (WBA), clearly proved that size was not a factor against the 6′ 1″ Chambers. Plus at 25 years of age, Mchunu is 5 years younger than Durodola.
The 10-round fight should be interesting, with both fighters eager to impress fans and establish their reputation as the best rising star in the cruiserweight division.
Six additional fights are planned to be added to the Friday night card which is promoted by Main Events, Peltz Boxing, Showpony Promotions and Dibella Entertainment.
Tickets are priced $75 and $50. They can be purchased at: Resorts International Hotel and Casino Box Office; 800-736-1420; at TicketMaster, Click here to connect to TicketMaster or cut and paste this link: http://www.ticketmaster.com/main-events-boxing-and-peltz-boxing-atlantic-city-new-jersey-01-24-2014/event/02004B8BF6BBA488?artistid=1940738&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=33&tm_link=artist_msg-0_02004B8BF6BBA488; and at Peltz Boxing 215-765-0922.
Resorts Casino Hotel – Superstar Theatre
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Cruiserweight Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu Q&A About His Upcoming Fight Against Olanrewaju “God’s Power” Durodola Thabiso Mchunu
Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu is preparing for his upcoming fight against Olanrewaju “God’s Power” Durodola on NBCSN Fight Night, Friday, January 24th live from Resorts International Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. He took time out of training camp to answer questions about his opponent, the fight and his career.
What are your predictions for your fight on Friday, January 24?
TM: I’m gonna start the New Year with a bang! I’m a boxer and can punch when I want to! I’m gonna make some fans in the US!
How does it feel to be back on NBCSN Fight Night?
TM: Really motivates me when I’m on (NBCSN) Fight Night! Truly an honor
How do you feel about fighting in the US for the second time?
TM: I absolutely love it!
Did you change anything about your training routine for this fight?
TM: Pretty similar
What is a typical day in training camp like for you?
TM: Running, sparring and technical work with my coach Sean Smith; he keeps me on point! We click together.
Who have you sparred with leading up to this fight?
TM: Danie Venter, Isaac Chilemba and Kevin Lerena
Your opponent, Durodola, has had a total of sixteen fights and stopped fourteen of them, does this concern you?
TM: Not really; it’s easy to stop “nobodies”.
What do you know about Durodola?
TM: He’s an African fighter and former Olympian but nothing I haven’t seen before.
Durodola is in the same position you were in when you fought Eddie Chambers. How are you going to stop him from capitalizing on this opportunity?
TM: My destiny and his are different.
In your last fight you beat Eddie Chambers – Do you feel you have to prove beating Chambers was not an accident?
TM: No. I’m gonna prove that anyone you put in front of me, I am gonna beat!
How has your last win changed things for you?
TM: Makes me even more certain I can dominate – but not much! Hungry as ever!
The current cruiserweight champions are Yoan Pablo Hernandez (IBF), Denis Lebedev (WBA), Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (WBC) and Marco Huck (WBO), which of these champions do you want to face first? Which of these champions do you feel would be easiest/hardest to beat?
TM: I want the WBC belt first. I don’t care who’s got it. Then I want to unify the belts. I want to fight Huck- he’s got a big mouth!
WBO champion Marco Huck is scheduled to face former world champion Firat Arslan on January 25th in a rematch. What do you think of that fight?
TM: It will be interesting but I’m sure Huck will defend.
What are your thoughts on the passing of Nelson Mandela?
TM: His struggles have given me the opportunity I have today! I wanna show my appreciation to him and be a great success in boxing to honor what he has done for our nation and for people around the world!