Last chance for Mthalane, Pacman
Ring veteran Moruti "Baby Face" Mthalane has been granted the opportunity to reclaim the IBF flyweight belt he vacated in 2014.
This after he pulled out of his mandatory defence against Thailand's Amnat Roenroeng due to paltry purse money.
IBF Championship chairman Lindsey Tucker wrote to both Mthalane's trainer, Colin Nathan and promoter Tshele Kometsi, that the IBF had elevated the title elimination bout between Mthalane and Muhammad Waseem from Pakistan to a world title fight because Donnie Nietes of the Philippines had vacated the title to move up to the junior bantamweight division.
Mthalane, who has 35 wins against two losses, is rated No 3, while Waseem is fifth in the IBF's flyweight ranks.
They were to fight for the rights to challenge Nietes. Their elimination bout was to be staged by Manny Pacquaio Promotions.
"It will stage the fight in conjunction with Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on July 15," said Nathan.
Their fight will be the undercard to the WBA welterweight championship fight between champion Lucas Matthysse of Argentina and Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquaio.
Nathan also confirmed receiving Tucker's letter which reads in part: "The IBF has given tentative sanction approval for the above captioned fight. Formal sanction approval will be granted once we receive the signed contracts. The signed contracts are due by April 18, 2018. Once we get the contracts, the IBF president [Darryl Peoples] or I will be in touch with you concerning the sanctioning fees and the selection of officials."
Mthalane spent 2015 without a fight, and was on the verge of forfeiting the IBO title. Kometsi got him to defend against Genesis Libranza, who went down in four rounds at Wembley Arena on April 26.
Kometsi gave Mthalane two more fights, including the vacant IBF International championship, which Mthalane won by a second-round stoppage on Ardin Diale of the Philippines in Mmabatho on October 27.