Joyi changes weight division for next bout

NEEDS  GOOD WIN: Nkosinathi Joyi  Photo: Gallo Images
NEEDS GOOD WIN: Nkosinathi Joyi Photo: Gallo Images

NKOSINATHI "Mabhere" Joyi will challenge WBC International junior flyweight champion Benezer "Bulldozer" Alolod on August 31, Joyi's promoter, S'Phatho Handi, announced yesterday.

This will be Joyi's first fight at this weight division.

He is the former SA, IBO and IBF mini-flyweight champion and campaigned in that weight division with aplomb for 13 years.

Handi said Joyi's fight against the Filipino fighter will be presented by promoter Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, where Joyi, in the mini-flyweight division, lost to IBO king Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler on June 15.

Joyi's punches lacked fire-power in that fight, probably because he overtrained to make the weight, and he just could not come to terms with Budler's hand speed and mobility.

That was Joyi's second defeat in that weight class where he made his professional debut on April 28 2002.

"Joyi must be given the right to grow. He can't fight in the mini flyweight division the whole of his life. He is 30 years old, so he is no longer a youngster," reasoned Handi, who paid tribute to Berman for delivering on his promise of looking after Joyi.

Handi added that Berman told him that victory for Joyi against Alolod will guarantee him the chance to challenge WBC champion Adrian Hernandez from Mexico.

"Joyi will finalise his preparations at the Gauteng gym of trainer Gert Strydom," said Handi.

Alolod, a left-hander just like Joyi, will bid for the second defence of his title. He stopped Rey Loreto in the seventh round on March 16.

The 22-year-old champion improved his poor knockout ratio to two in 12 wins against four losses and four stalemates.

Joyi is mentored by Lennox Mpulampula and his fight record stands at 23 wins (16 KOs) against two losses.