—One of the most exciting fighters in the world, WBC World Cruiserweight Champion Ilunga Junior Makabu will defend his title against the veteran Badou Jack on Sunday night live on ESPN+ in Saudi Arabia as part of the Jake Paul-Tommy Fury card.
“Ilunga Junior Makabu will show why he is considered the best cruiserweight in the world,” said Makabu’s promoter Don King. “Makabu has all the tools to be one of the all-time greats. After retaining his title, he’s ready to win the other belts to become the undisputed cruiserweight champion.”
Makabu (29-2, 25 KOs) will defend his title for the first time in a year. He last fought Jan. 29 of this year in Warren, OH, winning a split decision over Thabiso Mchunu. That victory was only his second defense of his title since Dec. 19, 2020.
Makabu won the vacant title on Jan. 31, 2020 in South Africa in scoring a unanimous decision over challenger Michael Cieslak and defended the title 11 months later on Dec. 19th and knocked out Olanrewaju in the 7th round in Kinshasa.
Makabu, 35, who hails from the Republic of the Congo, has won 10 consecutive fights since his second career loss coming in the WBC World Cruiserweight Championship on May 29, 2016 when he got knocked out in the third round by Tony Bellew. The bout was a slugfest as Makabu knocked Bellew down with a left hook in the first round.
Jack (27-3-3, 16 KOs), 39, who hails from Sweden, has won five consecutive fights, his last victory a split decision over undefeated Richard Riviera on Aug. 20, 2022.
Jack’s last title fight was his last loss on Dec. 28, 2019 when he fought Jean Pascal for the WBA Light Heavyweight championship as well as the WBC Silver Light Heavyweight title. Jack lost a close split decision with two of the judges seeing the fight 114-112 for Pascal and the other judge seeing it in favor of Jack at 114-112.