JOHANNESBURG - Scotland’s Calum Murrie (4-1) took the last step towards a world title shot, when he weighed in and faced off against EFC featherweight champion Igeu Kabesa (10-1), ahead of their title clash at EFC 75 on Saturday night.
Kabesa, a champion riding a wave of success with a growing list of knockout finishes behind him, has had nothing but contempt for Murrie in the build-up to this clash. Today produced more of the same, with the Johannesburg based champion baiting the challenger in front of his home town, Carnival City crowd.
“You guys know what’s happening,” said the champion with a smirk, referring to tomorrow night’s bout, and then invited the audience to pick the round and means of victory. A stoic Murrie was fierce in response: “The belt means everything to me. It’s a massive opportunity and I am going to snatch it up. The belt is coming home to Scotland."
The card will also feature South African striker Conrad Seabi takes on the German tank, Max Merten, in the penultimate clash, and their face-off brimmed with intensity.
After both made weight Seabi surged toward their face-off, colliding with matchmaker Greame Cartmell who kept the two athletes apart. Seabi has been scathing about his European opponent, promising to smash him throughout the past week. Seabi is a proven, ferocious competitor. “I am the African tank,” he said, pointing straight at his German opponent. “I’ll see you tomorrow night.”
Tumisang Madiba returns after his EFC 73 loss in Cape Town, this time facing former title contender, Zimbabwe’s Sylvester Chipfumbu, who makes his own return after a near 18 month layoff. Social media caught Madiba doing somersaults in the parking lotto shed the last of his weight during the morning, both men hitting the 135lbs bantamweight cutoff.
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Struggling to make weight? @tumisangmadiba has the secret. just flick-flack... Watch the official #EFC74 weigh-in live on Kwesé ESPN (Africa), DAZN (USA), FIGHT SPORTS (Where Available) & EFCworldwide.tv (Where Available) today at 14:00 CAT/12:00 CAT/05:00 DST.
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A bout with perhaps even more animosity precedes Seabi vs Merten, when the USA’s Cheyanne Vlismas takes on Poland’s Karolina Wójcik. The women have been at each other’s throats, setting up a fight primed to electrify the women’s division.
Vlismis and Wójcik made weight at flyweight by short notice agreement, but both will compete further at strawweight, with their eye on the belt currently held by Italy’s Chiara Penco.
Opening tomorrow’s main card, former title contender Pierre Botha welcomes Pretoria based Angolan Nerick Simoes to the live television broadcast. Both hit the scale fit and on weight. Benjamin Mukendi Danie Swart, Rodrique Kena, failed to make weight and suffer financial penalties.