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Boxing | South Africa

Moruti Mthalane © Gallo Images

Mthalane hopes to regain IBF belt

Moruti Mthalane, one of South Africa’s most outstanding fighters in recent years, hopes to regain the IBF flyweight belt when he faces Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem for the vacant belt at the Aviata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sunday.

The fight will be shown live on SS 205 on Sunday from 3am to 6.30am.

The belt became vacant after Donnie Nietes vacated it.

The 35-year-old Mthalane (35-2; 24) won the vacant IBF flyweight belt on 20 November, 2009 with a unanimous points-victory over Julio Cesar Miranda and then made successful defences against Zolani Tete (tko 5), Johnriel Casimero (tko 5), Andrea Sarritzu (tko 7) and Ricardo Nunez (tko 8) before relinquishing the belt.

He then went on to claim the vacant IBO flyweight belt on 15 March, 2014 with a points victory over Jether Oliva and made three successful defences before relinquishing the belt.

In his most recent fight on 27 October, 2017 he stopped Ardin Diale in the second round to take the vacant IBF International flyweight belt.

Rather sadly, it was only the talented Mtahlane’s fourth fight since October 2014.

The comparative novice Waseem, who was born on 29 August, 1987 in Quetta, Pakistan, but fights out of South Korea, made his professional debut on 4 October, 2015. He has won six of his eight fights inside the distance.

However, he was an outstanding amateur, winning a bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a silver at the 2014 Games.

He also captured a gold medal at the World Combat Games and a silver at the South Asian Games, and was undefeated for seven years.

The IBF, which does not list the first two fighters in their rankings, have Mthalane listed at number three and Waseem at number five.

The vastly experienced South African must be the favourite to claim the belt unless inactivity and age catch up with him.

The other main organisation champions are WBA, Artem Dalakian (Azerbaijan), WBC, Daigo Higa (Japan) and WBO, Sho Kimura.


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