Argentine puncher Ruben Angel Mino has answered the call to fight WBC Silver cruiserweight champion Junior Makabu in a cruiserweight 10-rounder on the Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza bill in Monte Carlo on February 1.
Promoter Rodney Berman was forced to scramble to find a replacement for Nathan Cleverly after a succession of potential opponents backed out.
“I had agents all over the world working on this, but it seems almost no-one is willing to fight a banger like Makabu,” said Berman. “His reputation makes it increasingly difficult to match him.”
Mino (20-0, 20 KOs) turned professional three years ago, but hasn’t wasted time in gaining experience. Last year alone, he had 10 bouts, cutting a swathe through the division in South America.
For all his power, the Argentine will have it tough against Makabu (15-1, 14 KOs), who has looked explosive in training and is looking to make a big statement in 2014.
Berman, of Golden Gloves, has negotiated an agreement with K2 Promotions to feature Makabu on all WBA and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin’s bills in 2014. Golovkin heads the Monte Carlo tournament in a title defence against Osumanu Adama of Ghana and is also provisionally due to fight in New York on April 26.
“Junior needs to get through next month’s 10-rounder after which he’ll fight for the WBA’s Interim belt,” said Berman, who intends keeping the Democratic Republic of Congo native busy, notwithstanding his difficulty finding opponents.
The Monte Carlo tournament, taking place at the glamorous Salle Des Etoiles beachfront venue, also includes Roman Belaev versus Dean Byrne (WBA welterweight Continental title), Rey Loreto against Nkosinathi Joyi (IBO junior-flyweight title) and Max Bursak against Jarrod Fletcher (WBA middleweight International title).