Who is the best African-born, active boxer, pound for pound, today? Check out BoxingAfrica.com’s Top 10 list below!
BoxingAfrica.com is proud to present our list of Africa’s finest boxers, pound for pound. Of course, all opinions are welcome:
10. JEREMIAH NAKATHILA (NAMIBIA), 19-1 (15 KO’s)
Super Featherweight Contender
Namibia’s Nakathila has won eight straight (all by knockout) since suffering a 2016 disputed majority decision loss to Evgeny Chuprakov in Chuprakov’s native Russia. Now 30-years-old, Nakathila is in his prime. He currently holds the WBO Global super featherweight belt and is the number-two contender to WBO World Champion, Jamel Herring. Expect the man known as “Low Key” to make his move soon.
9. DUKE MICAH (GHANA), 24-0 (19 KOs)
Bantamweight / Super Flyweight Contender
At 28-years-old, “The Baby-Faced Terminator” might still sport boyish looks, but he’s proven to be all man inside the squared circle. Micah is closing in a world title shot. However, he must shore up the kinks that led to Janiel Rivera flooring him in the third round last December. Micah rose to batter Rivera and an eight-round decision. He’ll need more of that against the elite.
8. KEVIN LERENA (SOUTH AFRICA), 25-1 (12 KOs)
The 28-year-old Lerena holds the lightly-regarded IBO belt and has defended it seven times. However, his eyes are on the major world titles. Fresh off an impressive TKO win over veteran Firat Arslan, Lerena is contractually obligated to take on undefeated Norwegian, Kai Robin Havnaa, next. Should he win, expect “The KO Kid” to target Mairis Briedis afterward.
7. ISAAC DOGBOE (GHANA), 20-2 (14 KOs)
Super Bantamweight / Featherweight Contender / Former WBO World Super Bantamweight Champion
Dogboe, once of the most active fighters, hasn’t fought since his back-to-back losses to Emmanuel Navarrete. Navarrete wrested Dogboe’s WBO world super bantamweight title via unanimous decision in December 2018, and then stopped him in their May 2019 rematch. Prior to that, Dogboe’s star was on the rise. Still only 25, he can still achieve those heights.
6. ZOLANI TETE (SOUTH AFRICA), 28-4 (21 KOs)
Bantamweight Contender / Former Two-Division World Champion
Tete is looking to bounce back following a disappointing third-round TKO defeat to John Riel Casimero last November. With his power and unique southpaw style, the man who registered the fastest KO win in boxing history (11 seconds) is still a threat to become champion again. Even so, at 32, time is not on his side.
5. JOSHUA BUATSI (GHANA), 12-0 (10 KOs)
Light Heavyweight Contender
None other than Floyd Mayweather himself says Buatsi is a future world champion. Anyone who has seen him fight would agree. The Ghanaian-born Buatsi has resided in Great Britain since childhood. He represented the country at 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where he won bronze. These amateur accolades caught the eye of one Anthony Joshua, who signed Buatsi to a managerial contract. It’s paid off thus far as Buatsi, 27, has risen quickly up the pro ranks. Expect him to challenge for a world title as soon as 2021.
4. EFE AJAGBA (NIGERIA), 13-0 (11 KOs)
Under the tutelage of renowned trainer Ronnie Shields, Ajagba has blossomed into one of the hottest fighters in the game today. The fearsome slugger stands a well-sculpted 6-foot-6 and carries power in both hands, to go along with an educated jab. Ajagba still needs to work on his defense, as shown last December, when he rose from the canvas to flatten Iago Kiladze in five rounds. The 26-year-old Ajagba showed major improvement in March, stopping veteran Razvan Cojanu in nine. If that trend continues, watch out.
3. RICHARD COMMEY (GHANA), 29-3 (26 KOs)
Lightweight Contender / Former IBF World Lightweight Champion
Commey is on the comeback trail after losing his IBF world lightweight crown to Teofimo Lopez last December. Commey has already proven himself on the world class level, having stopped former world champion Ray Beltran in 2019, the previously undefeated Alejandro Luna in 2018 and losing a controversial split decision to former champion Robert Easter Jr. in 2016. Can the 33-year-old hard-hitter rise again? Stay tuned.
2. ILUNGA MAKABU (CONGO), 27-2 (24 KOs)
WBC World Cruiserweight Champion
One of the more exciting fighters in the game today, Makabu captured the WBC world title in January with an action-packed, 12-round unanimous decision win over Michal Cieslak in front off his adoring hometown fans in Kinshasa. The 32-year-old Makabu is hitting his stride, having won eight in a row. In a stacked cruiserweight division, he could become the man, which could mean a move to the top spot on this list as well.
1. MORUTI MTHALANE (SOUTH AFRICA), 39-2 (26 KOS)
IBF World Flyweight Champion
Not only is Mthalane the world’s best active, African-born fighter today, he’s perhaps boxing’s most underrated fighter, period. Look no further than his dazzling record, which includes a win streak that has now lasted 12 years and victories over future champions John Riel Casimero and Zolani Tete. Last December, Mthalane stopped Akira Yaegashi in Yaegashi’s native Japan to cement his status as champion. How much longer can the ageless 38-year-old last? We can’t say for sure but enjoy him while it lasts.