Joyi fights Condes with an eye on IBF belt

NKOSINATHI "Mabere" Joyi has more to fight for tonight than the right to challenge IBF mini flyweight champion Raul "Rayito" Garcia.

NKOSINATHI "Mabere" Joyi has more to fight for tonight than the right to challenge IBF mini flyweight champion Raul "Rayito" Garcia.

He goes into this fight tonight against Filipino Florante Condes without a crown. He had been stripped of his IBO crown after being champion since 2006. His reign ended outside the ring on Thursday.

"For your information, we have vacated the IBO world strawweight title held by Joyi due to his engagement in an eliminator contest, which is prohibited by our world championship rules and regulations," announced Maria Canizares.

Canizares is the assistant to Edward Levine, the IBO president. Joyi's camp of manager S'Phatho Handi knew this long ago. Joyi, 27, from Mdantsane in East London, won the IBO strap in 2006. He defended it three times.

It's the the manner in which he won the belt, a second-round knockout, and the three defences, all by knockouts, that grabbed the attention of the world.

The WBC and the WBA recognised Joyi's gumption with seventh and sixth spots respectively. The IBF followed suit and awarded Joyi with a number three position. Handi, who doubles up as a promoter, enlisted the services of Branco Milenkovic to negotiate Joyi's future with the IBF. The rest is history.

Milenkovic and his partner Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala will present tonight's contest, billed for the Orient Theatre. Joyi is undefeated after 19 fights with 15 knockouts. Condes, 26, another left-hander, is the former IBF holder. The fight will appear live on SABC's Blow by Blow at 10pm.

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