Juan Bezuidenhout punches Simon Harle during their heavyweight bout at EFC 82 at The Big Top Arena in Carnival City, Johannesburg in 2019. Photo: Roarke Bouffe/EFC Worldwide
Juan Bezuidenhout punches Simon Harle during their heavyweight bout at EFC 82 at The Big Top Arena in Carnival City, Johannesburg in 2019. Photo: Roarke Bouffe/EFC Worldwide

Juan Bezuidenhout vs Ricky Misholas: There's no bad blood!

By Julian Kiewietz Time of article published Oct 6, 2021

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Cape Town – Juan Bezuidenhout won’t stop until he gets that EFC gold around his waist.

He may have had a few stumbling blocks en route to the title, but he is taking it in his stride.

Juan (2-2) was dealt an unfortunate blow at EFC88 when his fight with top heavyweight Ricky Misholas was cancelled.

According to the EFC, the medical experts were waiting for documents from Ricky’s doctor to sign off the fight, however, upon failing to disclose it, the EFC were left with no choice but to call the fight off considering that Ricky (7-9) was knocked out just two months before EFC88 when he faced Matunga Djikasa.

As per a source close to Ricky’s camp, the fight – which could have setup a title shot for Juan – was called off on the day due to a lack of communication from the Extreme Fighting Promotion’s medical team.

“I was getting all the nerves calm and ready to leave the hotel on fight day, as I got out of the lift and into the lobby, I was told the fight was cancelled. I thought everybody was joking,” said Juan with a wry smile.

“When we got to the venue, Graeme (Cartmell, EFC Vice President and matchmaker) confirmed the news.

“It’s disappointing, you put in the hours, you put in the hard work, but yeah, you have to take it, it’s not the first time it happened, and there is nothing anybody can do about it. It is what it is,” said the Cape Town-based fighter.

Watch the interview with Juan Bezuidenhout

Juan has had four professional fights cancelled thus far. The first one came against Willem Smith in the Cape Fight League back in 2016. The second and third cancellations came against Simon Harle and Nico Yamdjie respectively before the latest incident.

“I was thinking to myself in my camp, ‘he came off a knockout and he would be placed on medical suspension for three months’, so we thought there was a possibility.

“At the press conference all looked fine, from there I thought the fight would happen.”

“I still want that fight. It’s not a matter of bad blood, I just know that Ricky is the guy with the most experience and he can unlock a title shot,” says Juan.

After the disappointment of EFC88, Juan immediately started campaigning for another shot at Ricky at EFC89. He may have not been granted that wish, but he was given another fight at EFC Fight Night this Saturday where he will face a giant of a man in the form of Vandam Mbuyi (2-2).

“Graeme said that if I perform well and get the win in great fashion, we can then talk about contendership,” says Juan who is excited about facing the king of the heavyweight division, Thabani Mndebela (5-1).

“Thabani is a machine in there, I have a lot of respect for him, we fought before … it did not go well for me, so that will be a nice fight. There is gold on the line as well, so it’s a bonus,” added Juan.

@juliankiewietz

IOL Sport

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