Mthalane eyes WBC flyweight crown

Reigning SA flyweight champion Muruti Mthalane will challenge for the vacant WBC international flyweight title against Philippines fighter Apol Suico in Durban on September 16.

Reigning SA flyweight champion Muruti Mthalane will challenge for the vacant WBC international flyweight title against Philippines fighter Apol Suico in Durban on September 16.

The title was left vacant after its former holder Mhikiza Myekeni was involved in a car crash which ended his boxing career in December last year.

Myekeni, of East London, had just challenged unsuccessfully for the WBC title against recently dethroned Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, who had defended his title 15 times before losing it to Daisuke Naito in a big upset last month.

So impressive was Myekeni's performance against Wonjongkam that the WBC waived its rule of stripping its champions when they lose world title challenges, and allowed him to keep his WBC international crown.

Despite the vote of confidence from the WBC, the car crash ended Myekeni's career, opening the way for Mthalane to vie for the crown.

Both Mthalane and Suico have lost once in their professional careers. But the South African has an edge in experience as he has fought 20 times, while the Filipino has fought 11 times.

Suico was stopped in two rounds by Denilo Lerio in March this year. Since his loss to Nkqubela Gwazela in an SA title challenge in 2004, Mthalane has won all but one of his six bouts by stoppages. - Sapa

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