Mthalane's Trainer is Happy Olteanu Bout Canceled

Johannesburg – The cancellation of boxer Moruti Mthalane's “jinxed” fight in Germany on Saturday night could be a blessing in disguise, his trainer Nick Durandt said on Tuesday.

“My initial reaction was to hit the ceiling,” he said.

“There have been so many strange developments regarding the fight, which had already been postponed for a month under (such) suspicious circumstances, that an Agatha Christie mystery thriller would find it difficult to emulate all the intrigue.”

Mthalane was to have made a mandatory defence of his IBF flyweight title against European champion Silvio Olteanu.

Durandt said the simplest explanation for the cancellation was the likeliest.

“But on closer inspection, the news that Olteanu had damaged his hand in training and could not fight might ironically be for the best.

“Moruti was due to fight for a ridiculously low purse of R85,000 ($8,555 USD), which is an insult for a boxer who has been the IBF champion since 2009.”

Durandt hoped a better deal for his fighter would emerge, with the IBF agreeing to a voluntary title defence in December.

“Initially, no South African promoter turned up at the purse bidding in New York when the German SES organisation won the rights for the fight while offering no more than peanuts.

“But there are encouraging signs that one or two South African groups are now prepared to come to the party, and it will be up to the IBF to sanction a voluntary title defence at home for Moruti in view of the fact that it was Olteanu who torpedoed Saturday night's proposed fight in Germany,” he said.

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