Mthalane all set for war

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Moruti "Baby Face" Mthalane will sweat tears and blood in his endeavour to win the IBF flyweight belt from Nonito Donaire, says trainer Nick Durandt.

"I have viewed about seven of Nonito's fights. We are in for a tough fight, but I saw quite a few mistakes, and that is where Moruti is gonna capitalize," said the esteemed boxing mentor who made it clear that they will be going to the US as serious contenders.

"KwaZulu-Natal must prepare for wild celebrations."

On May 23, 1992, in the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, UK, Durandt guided KwaZulu-Natal warrior Thulani "Sugarboy' Malinga to winning the WBC super middleweight belt from Nigel Benn. Malinga became the first South African boxer ever to win the lucrative WBC belt.

Donaire won the IBF belt last July in five rounds from Vic Darchinyan. The latter, from Australia, had won it on December 16, 2004, from Irene Pacheco, who was later dethroned by Darchinyan. The latter ended the illustrious career of Mzukisi "Laciar" Skali with an eight round stoppage on March 27, 2005.

But Darchinyan found Donaire too fast and furious - one punch and it was over. That fifth round knockout was awarded Ring Magazine's "Knockout of the Year" and "Upset of the Year" in 2007.

Donaire, 25, has tried unsuccessfully to challenge Daisuke Naito for the WBC title and Takefumi Sakata for the WBA belts. Japan's boxing commission does not acknowledge either the IBF or the WBO.

It only recognizes the WBA and WBC as legitimate world titles.

Mthalane, 25, won the rights to challenge Donaire on July 5 with an emphatic lopdsided points win over Hussein Hussein at East London's Jan Smuts Stadium.

That IBF title eliminator was presented by Mthalane's promoter Branco Milenkovic, who lost the bid to stage the actual IBF championship fight here to American Bob Arum.

This Hall of Fame inductee, who promotes under Top Rank, controls Donaire, whose defence with Mthalane will take place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 1.