Former IBF king Moruti Mthalane handed instant IBO title chance

Phil Jay 21/01/2014

Moruti Mthalane will get the chance to fight for the IBO flyweight championship following the South African’s decision to relinquish his IBF version which he was due to defend in Thailand on Wednesday.

The 31 year-old was all set to travel to Bangkok to face Amnat Ruenroeng in a mandatory contest with the International Boxing Federation, but chose to drop the red belt in a row over the purse.

‘Babyace’ will instead clash with Filipino Jether Oliva in March on home soil at the Durban Entertainment Centre in a contest that trainer Nick Durandt says is a far more lucrative contest for his fighter.

“To some this might seem an illogical contradiction, because in international boxing circles holding an IBF title is considered more prestigious than being in possession of the IBO belt,” Durandt explained to SAPA.

“Had Moruti gone through with the fight in Bangkok, he would have fought for peanuts. After various deductions to a R100,000 purse, he would have been left with something in the vicinity of R60,000 for his title defence, which is a disgrace for a long-standing champion of his calibre.

“Instead, we have been guaranteed a R1 million pay-out by promoter Thulani Magudulela, bank-rolled by the province’s provincial administration, and that outweighs anything else.”

Mthalane had held the IBF title since defeating Julio Cesar Miranda in 2009, making four successful defences, but now hopes to claim another version of the world crown in his very next fight.

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