Ilunga “Junior” Makabu is determined to appease his fellow Congolese fans when he meets German Enad Licina for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Francophone cruiserweight title in Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC), on March 25.
The last time Makabu fought was in May last year when he suffered an embarrassing third-round knockout defeat at the hands of Englishman Tony Bellew for the WBC cruiserweight crown title at Goodison Park Stadium in Liverpool.
So hurt and out-of-sorts was Makabu on the night that he had to be attended to by ring doctors after being pulverised by the more polished Englishman in front of thousands of partisan Everton FC fans.
It will be like homecoming when he meets Licina.
Junior, who was born in Kananga in the DRC and is now based in Johannesburg, has had the majority of his bouts in Gauteng for the past eight years since turning professional in 2008.
He will be slugging it out closer to home when he tackles Licina. This will be his second fight in the DRC since he beat Glen Johnson to win the then vacant WBC international cruiserweight in 2014.
“It will be for the second time that my fellow Congolese fans see me in action at home.
"I’m determined to give them a good match by winning the Francophone title and get back in contention for the WBC title shot,” said Makabu.
Junior has compiled a record of 19 wins and two defeats from 21 professional fights.
He will be up against an experienced campaigner who has chalked up 31 victories and four defeats from 35 bouts.
Licina holds the WBC Mediterranean championship belt which he won by beating Drazan Janjanin from Bosnia-Herzegovina in Germany last February.
He is a good fighter who can throw a big punch.
This has been demonstrated by the fact that he beat 20 of his foes inside the distance.