By Mesuli Zifo
POWER- punching DRC- born South African southpaw Ilunga Makabu will take another giant step towards winning a world title when he contests for the WBA interim cruiserweight crown against unbeaten Polish star Pawel Kolodziej at the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco, France on February 1.
The card will be headed by the return of WBA and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin against an opponent yet to be announced.
Promoted by South African promotional power house Golden Gloves Promotion, the show will also feature British boxer Martin Murray contesting for the regular WBA middleweight title as Golovkin is said to have been elevated to the super champion status by the WBA.
GGP boss Rodney Berman recently attended Golovkin's last title defence in New York, US where the Kazakhastani destroyed Curtis Stevens in eight rounds.
The inclusion of Makabu to the card is set to whet the appetite of boxing fans in Monaco where the 25-year-old slugger endeared himself to boxing fans with his fluency in French and then back it up when he stopped previously unbeaten Tamas Lodi in three rounds in March before returning to the exotic casino to inflict another defeat to another previously undefeated Ukrainian Dmytro Kucher in July to snatch the WBC silver cruiserweight crown.
Makabu has since defended the title with a high reel fifth round knockout of American Eric Fields in his adopted country this past August.
With a single loss in 15 fights with Kucher remaining the only opponent to take him to the full distance, Makabu is considered the heir apparent in the cruiserweight division and his victory over Kolodziej will earn him a shot at the WBA crown to be contested by Russian Denis Lebedev and Guillermo Jones of Panama.
The WBA has already ordered the camps of Lebedev and Jones to conclude negotiations about the rematch within 30 days failing which purse bids will be called on December 9.
Jones stopped Lebedev in 11 rounds to win the title in a fight officiated by South African Hall of Fame referee Stan Christodolou in Russia in May.
But the Panamanian tested positive for a banned substance and was stripped and Lebedev reinstated as a champion.
Christodolou is on record saying that Makabu would easily beat both Jones and Lebedev.
However the left hander who punches like a mule, must first face the third rated Polish before he could back Christodolou's predictions.
Berman said Makabu who will be fighting under his promotion for the sixth time in less than a year, will take over the cruiserweight division within no time.
He is the star in the making and we are predicted bright future for him, he said.
In fact Makabu will return this division to its former glory when boxers such as Evander Holyfield competed.
Kolodziej has fought double of Makabu's fights with 17 stoppages although the 33-year-old has generally fought nondescript opponents.
Among the marginal belts the Kolodziej has held include the WBF crown which Makabu also laid his hands on before dumping it to pursue more meaningful titles.