Mthalane super ready for battle

BSA chief Tsholofelo Lejaka, right, visited Colin Nathan's gym to give his word of support.
BSA chief Tsholofelo Lejaka, right, visited Colin Nathan's gym to give his word of support.

Trainer Nathan says Malaysia fight will give SA a new world champion.

Boxing trainer Colin Nathan is brimming with confidence that his charge Moruti "Baby Face" Mthalane will reclaim the IBF flyweight title when he opposes newcomer Muhammad Waseem in Malaysia on July 15.

The title was vacated by Filipino Donnie Nietes who moved up to the junior bantamweight division.

Nathan warned it was not the question of if but rather when. The 35-year-old Mthalane has 35 wins, 24 knockouts against two losses, while Waseem, 30, is undefeated in only eight fights with six knockouts.

Mthalane won that belt in 2009 and vacated it in 2010 due to a paltry purse money he was to earn for his fifth defence in Bangkok.

"South Africa will have its third world champion," said Nathan, whose other boxer Hekkie Budler holds the IBF, WBA Super and the Ring Magazine junior flyweight belt. Zolani Tete is the WBO bantamweight champion.

After Mthalane had vacated the IBF belt, the IBO gave him the chance for its title which he won against Jether Oliva in Durban in 2014.

The battle-scarred Mthalane made three defences before the IBF sanctioned him for its international title which he won against Ardin Diale in October last year.

Nathan also revealed that Boxing SA (BSA) CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka visited his gym this week. "He came with Lehlohonolo Ramagole [an intern at BSA] to wish Moruti good luck," said Nathan.

Said Lejaka: "It is appropriate that we support Moruti, and this is a tradition we want to approach particularly for boxers challenging for world titles. I loved what I saw in Moruti. He looked super ready."

Nathan, Mthalane and cutman Bernie Pailman jetted off to Malaysia this morning.

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