Boxing Snippets

‘Baby Face’ Mthalane the weekend treat

Moruti Mthalane, who has been scandalously treated with just four fights in the past three years, gets the chance to dust off the cobwebs in Mohlakeng, west of Johannesburg, on Sunday.

The IBO flyweight champion, a former IBF title-holder, takes on Isaac Quaye in a 10-rounder that headlines the Victory Sport Productions bill.

The action will be broadcast live on SuperSport 10 from 3pm.

Mthalane (33-2) last fought in April, spectacularly knocking out Genisis Libranza of the Philippines in the fourth round.

Unfortunately, Mthalane’s great talent has largely been squandered due to inactivity. Despite being unbeaten in his last 10, his career has stagnated. It reached its lowest point in 2014 when he was stripped of his IBF title after pulling out of his mandatory defence against Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng on Saturday. He did so after late trainer Nick Durandt refused to fight for “peanuts”.

Still rated number eight by the WBC and 10th by the IBF, he remains a formidable fighter. “We all saw tremendous form in his last fight, despite having been out for a long time,” said his new trainer, Colin Nathan. “At his best I’d put money on him against any flyweight in the world. I expect him to be in excellent form on Sunday.”

Quaye, from Ghana, has had a long career, fighting out of both his hometown of Accra and the UK. He hasn’t reached the heights of Mthalane, but he figures to give the South African a solid test.

Whatever happens, it will be a welcome sight to Mthalane’s home fans, who deserve to see one of South Africa’s best boxers in action.


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