Moruti Mthalane defines the term road warrior. The South African has fought the world over, fighting all comers whilst holding both IBF and IBO versions of the world title for over a decade.
The lower weights are often unsung in world boxing, but boxing insiders will tell you that some of the highest quality action you will ever witness comes from weight classes below the 126-pound limit. Boxing historians will also tell you the oldest official weight class in boxing was the featherweight weight class of 126 pounds.
Moruti Mthalane has been a king of the 'little-big men' for over a decade, with the South African holding victories over elite fighter such as Zolani Tete, John Riel Casimero and Muhammad Waseem. Not only has 'Babyface' Mthalane emerged victoriously against many of the world's highest caliber flyweights, but he has also boxed in the likes of Japan, Kuala Lumpur, Macao, Panama, Italy, and the United States.
Mthalane, who defends his title this coming Monday in Yokohama, Japan, opened up about his experiences the world over within the professional ranks, "I am very grateful to God for allowing me to live such a wonderful life within boxing and manage to see so many beautiful places and meet great people whilst living my dreams of being a world champion.
"I have an underdog mentality. I have traveled to many different places and I am always prepared for the toughest of challenges. This is why I work so hard in the gym and live the right way outside of the ring. You can only win by knockout at the elite level if you work hard in the gym and I make sure I do that.
"I am very grateful to all of my team, my trainer and co-manager Colin Nathan, Mike Altamura, MTK Global and Sean Gibbons who have all guided me correctly, getting me the right fights in the right places and creating a path for me that I have walked down. It has not been easy, but I am very grateful to have been blessed with the ability to overcome the challenges put in front of me and I am blessed to have good people around me."
Mthalane is on the road again this weekend, as he collects a career-high purse in Japan with former two-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi, with the Japanese native bidding to become a 3 weight world champion against Mthalane.
The big-hitting South African weighed in on his clash this weekend, "I am very grateful to God and my team for getting me this opportunity this weekend and I am excited to show everybody that I am still the best flyweight in the world.
"Yaegashi is an amazing fighter, he is a warrior and I am very honored to share the ring with him. I love Japan as the boxing people here are very respectful and they respect good boxing. I promise them I will bring my best and they will enjoy a very good fight, but I am confident that I will emerge victoriously once more."