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Raphael Mensah: I’ll dethrone Machado

BY: Bernard Neequaye

Ghana's undefeated super featherweight, Raphael "Sweet Pea" Mensah has promised to knockout and dethrone the champion, Puerto Rico’s Alberto Machado when they clash in the ring in a World Boxing Authority (WBA) world title bout at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas on July 21.

Mensah (31-0, 23, KOs), will be challenging the champion, Machada, for the title as the Puerto Rican defends his title the first time since claiming the then vacant title with an eighth round Technical Knockout against Jezreel El Corrales in New York last October.

Sweet Pea, who will be fighting outside Ghana and in the United States of America for the first time, admits it’s never easy to dethrone a champion, more so a tough Latin American fighter, but, he also insists there was no way he could lose to the Pueto Rican in their slugfest.

The 12-round Machado-Mensah battle will be a co-main event of Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs) and Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship in a bout which will be televised live on HBO Boxing.

In an interview with boxingscene, the 27-year-old Mensah, who made his professional career in 2010 vowed to teach Machado a boxing lesson when they go head to head.

“I know Machado and there is no doubt I can beat him,” said Mensah. "When I saw Machado, I said yes, I can match him toe-to-toe and beat him.  I will come and maybe not knock you out, but I will beat you in boxing and teach you a good boxing lesson”.

 In reaction, Machado alias ‘Explosivo’, a 27-year-old hard hitting southpaw of San Juan, Puerto Rico, said it was good for Mensah to feel confident but he was poised to retain his title, in the same way he defeated Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales to win the super featherweight title in October last year.

“As a fighter, I know the sacrifices that are made to become a world champion. I’m not taking anything for granted.  I will defend my title with blood and honour this July 21. Rafael Mensah is the mandatory challenger, and he possesses great credentials, including an impressive record. That's why I’m preparing more than ever to walk away with my hand raised in my first defense”.

The hard-talking stance has no doubt excited the promoters of the fight, Golden Boy Promotions, whose Chief Executive Officer, Oscar De La Hoya, said: "We're excited to bring two world title fights to Las Vegas on July 21. “Jaime Munguia exploded onto the championship scene last year in devastating fashion, and we’re delighted to showcase him once again on another HBO main event. The co-main event will also bring fireworks as Alberto Machado makes the first defence of what will be a very long reign”.