Maridzo to defend WBO title


Zimbabwe’s super middleweight and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) African champion Tineyi Maridzo defends his title tonight against South African Mikey Schultz in Johannesburg.
The WBO Africa super middle-weight rematch takes place at the Wembley Indoor Arena in Johannesburg.
According to reports from South Africa today’s match will be Schultz’s toughest in his boxing career after he was floored within 86 seconds by underdog Maridzo when they met for the first time on November 20 last year.
However, Schultz brings into the bout a record of 15-1 with 10 knockouts and his trainer Nick Durandt is convinced Maridzo does not stand a chance this time around. Maridzo has a rather poor record of four wins (3 KOs), against six losses, three by knockouts.
Maridzo, a 27- year- old who hails from Kambuzuma, is in fine condition while his opponent Schultz is being questioned for returning to the ring so soon after a bout of bronchitis.
However, Maridzo’s Achilles heel like many other local boxers appears to be lack of sponsorship to enable him improve on his diet and training .
Meanwhile, allegations are flying in South Africa that Maridzo had been paid good purse money to lose the rematch.
Both Schultz’s coach, Durandt and the promoter Pat Molefe would not be drawn into revealing how much the two fighters have been paid for the rematch.
However, Maridzo, who arrived in South Africa on Thursday last week, vehemently dismissed the allegations as nonsense.
“I am here to defend my title, so people must just wait and see whose arms will be raised in triumph on Thursday night (tonight),” said the man who was assumed to be cannon fodder last year.
Maridzo also revealed that the punch that felled Schultz in 87 seconds into the first round of their first match-up at the same venue in November was perfectly- timed and well executed.
South African trainer John Whitehead, who assisted Maridzo in his preparations, shared his sentiments. Whitehead will be in Maridzo’s corner once again tonight, but he refused to divulge any information regarding their preparations for the grudge fight.