Newly-minted EFC lightweight champion Joe Cummins is willing to face Alain ‘Commanda Boy’ Ilunga in his first title defence.
England’s Cummins (6-1) claimed the vacant strap with an unanimous decision victory over ex-champ Martin van Staden (26-12) in the main event of EFC 77 in Pretoria on Saturday.
On the same evening, Ilunga (12-5) beat Cummins’ training partner Łukasz Świrydowicz (4-5) in the Fight of the Night at Time Square for a seventh straight win.
Ilunga was making his return to the hexagon after a near two-year absence, having sat idle while his Coach Quan University teammate Van Staden chased championship honours.
Asked if he would fight Ilunga, Cummins told reporters: “Yeah, yeah, no problems. I’m going to have some time off after that and then I will fight anyone in the EFC. Ilunga’s a good opponent for me. So, anyone. I just appreciate being here, simple as that. I’m not calling no one out. I understand I am the champion now, so people are going to call me out. I thank everybody for coming and I thank the EFC for giving the opportunity. And I respect Ilunga.”
Cummins is also eager to avenge his sole loss to Themba Gorimbo (6-2) in May 2016, but said he “understands that Ilunga would be the first person that should have that shot”.
DR Congo’s Ilunga, who defeated Świrydowicz by unanimous decision, added: “I don’t think Joe Cummins can take me down. I don’t think Joe Cummins is going to knock me out. I’m ready for that fight. Graeme [EFC matchmaker, Cartmell]? Make it. I’m ready.”