Johannesburg - Tsiko “Cruel Junior” Mulovhedzi has been stripped of his International Boxing Organisation (IBO) welterweight title, and the boxer claims the decision has left him R500 000 poorer.
A furious Mulovhedzi has now set his sights on challenging Jeff “The Hornet” Horn for the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) title.
Horn dethroned Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao by a unanimous points victory in Australia last month.
Before that fight, he stopped Ali Funeka in the sixth round for the WBO intercontinental belt in Auckland in December.
The Limpopo-based Mulovhedzi beat Funeka by a fifth-round stoppage to win the crown in East London in July 2015.
Failure to defend it prompted the IBO to take his championship belt away – as per the rule that a champion must defend their title within 90 days of winning it.
Mulovhedzi instead won the then vacant International Boxing Federational (IBF) intercontinental title by beating Mexican Jesus Gurrola by a unanimous points decision at Ngoako Ramatlhodi Sports Complex in Seshego, Limpopo, last year.
But being forced to surrender the IBO diadem has angered Mulovhedzi because “this has cost me dearly”, he said.
“Defending my IBO title would have enabled me to earn a purse of R500 000 as a champion. Losing the belt without defending it has now left me broke.
"But I guess that’s life,” said Mulovhedzi.
Cruel Junior believes that winning his fight against Horn will restore his standing.
“Beating Pacquiao shows that Horn is good. I promise to dethrone him if the fight materialises,” said Mulovhedzi.
His most recent fight was a points win over Italian Dario Socci for the vacant IBF intercontinental strap in Bloemfontein in April.