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Mthalane Ordered To Defend His IBF Title Against Olteanu

Moruti Mthalane has been given three months to defend his IBF flyweight title against Silvio Olteanu of Spain.

"Exactly when and where the fight will take place remains a mystery," Mthalane's trainer, Nick Durandt, said on Sunday.

The IBF's purse bidding for the fight will be held in New York on Thursday. Only then will Mthalane and his handlers know which promoters will stage the bout.

"We're ready to fight tomorrow if necessary," Durandt said.

Johannesburg-based Mthalane has held the IBF title since 2009 but he has not fought since stopping Ricardo Nunes in the eighth round in Panama City last September. He has become frustrated by the lack of action.

Rated as the fourth best flyweight in the world by Ring magazine, he has a professional record of 29 wins from 31 fights.

He has defended his title only four times in four years. Durandt blames it on the reluctance of promoters “to make any decent offers".

“Fighters of Moruti's ability are not getting their just rewards,” the trainer said. "Ideally, he should be defending his title in South Africa but, mainly for financial reasons, three of his title bouts took place overseas.”

The champion’s opponents enjoyed “all the advantages that go with fighting in front of a home crowd."

Durandt has had discussions with two SAl promoters who had shown interest in staging the fight between Mthalane and Olteanu. "I believe two promoters have also expressed an interest to stage the fight in Spain."

Olteanu, ranked No 3 by the IBF, lives in Spain but was born in Romania.

"We'll take the fight wherever it is held. Moruti has shown he has the talent and nerves to hold on to his title, Durandt said."

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