Why Colin Nathan blocked Mthalane v Martinez match

30 June 2020 - 08:33
By Bongani Magasela AND Bongani Magasela
Moruti Mthalane and trainer Colin Nathan, who turned down the offer  for his fighter to  face  Julio Cesar Martinez on August 15./Thapelo Morebudi
Moruti Mthalane and trainer Colin Nathan, who turned down the offer for his fighter to face Julio Cesar Martinez on August 15./Thapelo Morebudi

Call it misdirection if you like but accomplished boxing trainer Colin "Nomakanjani" Nathan describes it as a well-calculated business decision.

The man, whose success earned him BSA 2017 and 2018 trainer of the year awards, was referring to his decision to turn down an offer for his charge, IBF flyweight holder Moruti "Baby Face" Mthalane, to face WBC champ Julio Cesar Martinez on August 15.

"August 15 is too soon," reasoned Nathan yesterday.

Government has not yet permitted boxers to resume training since the sport was put on hold in March due to Covid-19.

Even if sports minister Nathi Mthethwa includes boxing on the list of contact sports allowed to resume training, it is unclear if boxers will be allowed to spar against each other, which is a fundamental part of a boxer's training.

Nathan made it clear that his decision has nothing to do with them being scared of the relatively inexperienced 25-year-old Mexican who has one defeat in his 17 fights.

When Martinez fought his first professional fight in 2015, Mthalane was involved in his 34th pro fight.

The 38-year-old ring veteran had already fought against vastly experienced fighters of the highest calibre, including former multiple weight world champion Nonito "Filipino Flash" Donaire and Zolani "Last Born" Tete, to mention but a few.

Mthalane has fought 41 times, winning 39 of those fights, with 26 knockouts. He boasts three defences of his IBF title.

"We are actually working on Mthalane's mandatory defence, which will potentially take place here around September," explained Nathan. "The ultimate goal is a unification [bout] with Martinez in December."