Johannesburg - Moruti Mthalani's IBF flyweight title defense is back on track, but not quite in the way South Africa's longest existing international boxing champion must have desired.
In another under-priced purse bid organized by the IBF this week, only Thai promoter Jimmy Chaichotchuang participated, which has resulted in Mthalane now due to fight Amnat Ruenroeng in Thailand within a mandatory 90 days.
“The exact date has yet to be finalized,” Mthalane's trainer Nick Durandt said on Friday.
“I'm waiting to hear from the promoter, but I would imagine it is likely to be some time in January if there are no further complications.
“But whatever, we'll be ready despite all the frustrations and shenanigans.”
The 35-year-old Ruenroeng is a former Asian amateur champion, who also represented his country at the Beijing Olympic Games.
He is also unbeaten in 12 professional fights and is ranked sixth by the IBF.
The re-arranged title fight follows the cancellation of the repeatedly on-off bout in Germany last month, when Mthalane was to have made a mandatory defence against European champion Silvio Olteanu for a relatively meagre purse of R85,000 for a boxer of his calibre.
Meanwhile, Durandt lambasted local promoters for not joining in the bidding and claimed they were “in the business for their own benefit and not that of the fighters”.
“It boggles the imagination, that not a single South African promoter as much as participated in either of the purse bids to secure the services of the country's best and most respected boxer at a bargain rate,” Durandt said.
“For his last title defence, Moruti netted a R700,000 purse.
“Now, after securing another impressive win, he has to go overseas again and accept something like R120,000 to hold onto his title in Thailand - something I am sure he will achieve.”
Durandt said Mthalane had become frustrated after not having fought since he gained a stunning eighth round TKO victory over the fancied Ricardo Nunes at the Roberto Duran Arena in Panama City last September.
“But I have to hand it to Moruti, he has not let all the complications get him down and has continued training diligently, like the true professional he is.”
Mthalane, who is rated fourth best flyweight in the world by the Ring magazine and boasts a record of 29 wins from 31 fights with 20 KO, has defended his title only four times in more than four years because of what Durandt says has been the reluctance of South African promoters to “make any decent offers for a boxer of his ability and stature”. Tags: Moruti Mthalane