warning to baloyi

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Local boxing pundits could be wrong in their conclusion that Javier Osvaldo Alvarez poses no threat to Cassius Baloyi, says Golden Gloves publicist Terry Pettifer.

Alvarez will challenge Baloyi for the IBF junior lightweight belt at Emperors Palace on Saturday night. The truth is that "The Vikingo" from Chaco in Argentina is an average fighter.

He was stopped by Mzonke Fana, then IBF champion, with a body shot in the ninth round in Klerksdorp last August.

Alvarez came back two months later to register a points win over 10 rounds against Nazareno Gaston Ruiz. The latter is another mediocre Argentinian, who succumbed to Baloyi's power in three rounds for the IBO belt last February.

But Pettifer differs completely.

"Alvarez is a gritty, tenacious athlete who wears his heart on his sleeve. He could present our illustrious champion with far more problems than the majority of pundits suggest," he said.

Baloyi has fought quality fighters such as Frankie Toledo, Lehlohonolo Ledwaba (twice), Mbulelo Botile, Steve Robinson, Gairy St Clair, Philip Ndou, Isaac Hlatswayo and Fana while Alvarez has faced very little quality opposition.

Among the more experienced opponents Alvarez has fought are Manuel Medina and Roberto Arrieta, who was outpointed by Fana in an IBF title eliminator in 2006.

Baloyi has a height advantage, which he uses well to keep short opponents like Alvarez on the outside. He can box or punch, depending on the style of the opponent.

The outcome? Baloyi's jab will control the flow. A flash knockdown or two is not out of question. Baloyi will win by knockout or unanimous points decision.