IBO gives Joyi easy ride
Nkosinathi Joyi (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Rated South Africa's top pound-for-pound boxer when he held the IBF straw-weight title, East London-based Nkosinathi Joyi has been handed an easy ride back to title prominence when he meets Filipino Rey Lorito in Monaco on Saturday night for the IBO's vacant junior flyweight title.
Lorito, a journeyman boxer who has lost 13 of his 30 fights, is rated no higher than 30th by the IBO, with Joyi the number two contender.
The IBO, which is not one of the four most widely recognised international boxing associations, is known for an accommodating approach in sanctioning title fights.
The Joyi-Lorito fight is on the undercard of South African Rodney Berman's Golden Gloves Promotion, which features in the main bout unbeaten WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin against American-based Ghanaian Osumanu Adama.
Also on the programme, the Democratic Republic of Congo's explosive, South African-based cruiserweight, Junior Makabu, comes up against 39-year-old veteran Ruben Angel Mino, who is unbeaten in 20 fights.
"It's not our business or problem to decide who Nkosinathi fights in Monte Carlo," Joyi's manager Siphatho Handi said.
"The objective is to get him back into the forefront as a junior flyweight similar to that he enjoyed as a straw-weight when he was widely considered number two in the world in the division.
"If the IBO are prepared to accept Lorito as a title contender, well and good. That's their decision. The fight for us is a stepping stone and we intend to do the business at hand and not worry about Lorito's credentials.
Handi added that the Joyi camp would by no means dismiss their opponent's skills.
"We are not taking the Filipino lightly. Under-estimating an opponent can sometimes boomerang and leave you with egg on your face," Handi said.
"Nkosinathi will not make that kind of mistake and will approach this fight as he would any other."
Berman earlier revealed that an offer for Joyi to challenge IBF junior flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero had been rejected.
Berman, however, said that the IBF's rating of Joyi as a frontline title challenger after only one fight in the junior flyweight division is encouraging, with the WBA also having him high on the list of title challengers after his brief appearance in the 108lb division.
In his first fight as a junior flyweight six months ago after surprisingly losing his IBF straw-weight title, Joyi battered Benezer Alolod to a ninth round knockout defeat at Emperors Palace.
He was shaded by Hekkie Budler for the IBO straw-weight title at the same venue earlier last year, but on the evidence of the Alolod fight, Joyi has regained much of his best form.
"Nkosinathi has always been a lethal puncher," said Handi.
"And fighting in the heavier division as a junior flyweight will make him even more lethal."