One of South Africa’s best boxing talents, Azinga Fuzile, will introduce himself to the American boxing audience when he takes on Martin Ward of the UK in an IBF world junior lightweight title eliminator at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas on May 29.
The fight will serve as the chief support to the DAZN streamed WBC lightweight title clash between Devin Haney and Jorge Liranes.
Fuzile (14-1, 8KOs) will return to the ring for the first time since suffering an eighth round knockout loss to Tajikistan born Russian Shavkat Rakhimov in a similar title eliminator in East London SA, which took place in September 2019.
Fuzile was leading on all the cards when Rakhimov rallied to score the knockout.
Rakhimov was later caught on camera being administered with what looked like smelling salts before the fatal round, sparking Fuzile’s camp to lodge a protest to the IBF.
The IBF ruled in favor of both fighters allowing Rakhimov to proceed with his IBF mandatory shot against Joseph “Jojo” Diaz while also handing Fuzile another title eliminator.
Rakhimov fought to a draw with Diaz, who lost the belt on the scales when he failed to make weight at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio California this past February.
Now the 24-year old left hander will follow Rakhimov by also introducing himself to the American boxing audience.
“We are excited to fight in US for the first time and there is no better platform than to showcase our talent on DAZN,” said Fuzile promoter Nomfesane Nyatela of Rumble Africa Promotions.
Fuzile is already known in certain parts of US following his documented social media jibes with former champion Tevin Farmer who lost the title to Diaz.
Soon after Fuzile’s crushing defeat to Rakhimov, Farmer took to social media to rub more salt to Fuzile’s wounds by labelling him a hyped up boxer.
“You are supposed to win these kinds of fights, mate if you think you can share the ring with me,” Farmer wrote.
While Farmer is no longer the champion, Fuzile’s team could not help taking a dig at him ahead of his US debut.
“Fortunately we will bump into Mr. Farmer there and just say ‘hello’ to him. We understand that he is no longer a champion so for now he is irrelevant to us,” continued Nyatela.
Ward (24-1-2, 11 KOs) was last in action in February 2020 when he beat Mexican contender Jesus Amparan to move to the fourth spot in IBF ratings, right behind Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa, who is scheduled to fight for the vacant title against Rakhimov in July.