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Boxing | South Africa

Moruti Mthalane © Gallo Images

Moruti lands title fight in Durban



Moruti Mthalane will fight Jether Oliva for the vacant IBO flyweight title in Durban on March 15.

The South African, who was stripped last week of the IBF belt for failing to defend it against Thailand's Amnat Ruenroeng, will now take on Oliva, from the Philippines, at the Durban Convention Centre.

Nick Durandt, Mthalane’s trainer, said on Tuesday the boxer had taken the Durban option for financial reasons.

Durandt agreed that IFB titles carried more prestige than IBO belts but explained that Mthalane would have fought “for peanuts” had he gone ahead with the defence of his IBF belt in Hong Kong.

After various deductions from his R100 000 purse, Mthalane would have earned about R60 000, which Durandt described as a disgrace.

They had been guaranteed R1 million for the fight in Durban. The promoter is Thulani Magudulela and the KwaZulu-Natal provincial administration will also be involved.

Durandt said Mthalane remained in good standing with the IBF. The organisation’s administrators understood the reasons for the boxer's decision to give up the title.

"I have received correspondence from the IBF, thanking Mthalane for his services to the organisation over many years and for his impeccable behaviour as their champion."

Mthalane did not fight at all in 2013. He tried hard to secure a worthwhile defence but three proposed fights were cancelled.

He won the IBF title in 2009 when he beat Julio Cesar Miranda. He defended it in four defences, the most recent one against Ricardo Nunez in September 2012.

Last year, European champion Silvio Olteanu withdrew from two arranged fights in Germany.

"Now we aim to cash in, belatedly, starting with the Durban fight," said Durandt.

Oliva is 36th on the IBO’s rankings list but he has lost only once and has won 19 of his professional bouts.



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