Thai trip no problem for Mthalane

MORUTI Mthalane is not worried about where he has to go to make the mandatory defence of his IBF title.

But the flyweight world champion is instead relieved that he will finally get an opportunity to defend the title inside a boxing ring rather than risk losing it in the boardroom.

''Baby Face" will have to travel to Thailand to defend against Amnat Ruenroeng after a Thai boxing promotions company named Jimmy's Boxing won the purse bid on Tuesday night.

Jimmy's Boxing, which has 90 days to put on the fight, was apparently the only bidder and won the rights with a R150000 bid.

The fight went to purse bids because the Thai team did not want to negotiate.

''I was expecting this," said a resigned Mthalane yesterday. ''What else can I say? I will have to travel to Thailand because if I do not then I will be stripped of the title and that will not be nice."

Mthalane will receive about R120000 for the fifth defence of his title but will then have to pay the IBF's sanctioning fee, the tax, the trainer and the managerial fees. Nick Durandt will receive both fees as he doubles as Mthalane's trainer and manager. A trainer's fee is 10% of the purse, while managers are entitled to 15%.

This means after all the deductions, Mthalane could end up only taking home around R60000 and that figure would be the lowest purse ever for a legitimate world championship.

But it is marginally better than the paltry R110000 that was supposed to be his purse for the cancelled mandatory defence against Silvio Olteanu two weeks ago. The Spaniard pulled out two weeks ago after injuring his hand in training.