Other Sport

Mthalane forced to defend title

2013-07-14 18:44
Moruti Mthalane (File)

Johannesburg - South Africa's longest incumbent world boxing champion Moruti Mthalane has been given a mandatory three months to defend his IBF flyweight title against Spaniard Silvio Olteanu.

"Exactly when and where it will take place remains a mystery," Mthalane's trainer, Nick Durandt said on Sunday.

"The IBF's purse bidding procedure for the fight takes place in New York on Thursday and then we'll know what the options are and who will be staging the fight.

"We're ready to fight tomorrow if necessary."

The Johannesburg-based boxer, who has held the IBF title since 2009, was becoming frustrated by the lack of action having not fought since his eighth round TKO victory over the more-fancied Ricardo Nunes in Panama City last September.

Mthalane, who is rated fourth best flyweight in the world by Ring Magazine and boasts a record of 29 wins from 31 fights, has only defended his title four times in four years because of what Durandt said had been the reluctance of promoters to "make any decent offers" for a boxer of Mthalane's stature.

"There is generally a shortage of money in South African boxing, and fighters of Moruti's ability are not getting their just rewards.

"Ideally, he should be defending his title in South Africa, but the truth of the matter is, mainly for financial reasons, three of my fighters' title bouts have taken place overseas.

"Their opponents are enjoying all the advantages which go with performing in front of a home crowd."

Durandt said he had held discussions with two local promoters, who had shown some interest in staging the Mthalane-Olteanu bout but would only know the outcome on Thursday .

"I believe two Spanish promoters have also expressed an interest in staging the fight in Spain."

Although he now resides in Spain, the IBF's third-highest ranked Olteanu was born in Romania and according to Durandt was not one of Spain's top sporting heroes.

"But we'll take the fight wherever it goes, and Moruti has shown he has the talent and steel nerves to hold onto his title wherever his next defence is held."

Read more on:    nick durandt  |  moruti mthalane  |  boxing
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