Moruti Mthalane will have to defend his IBF flyweight title against Silvio Olteanu in Germany. German promoters SES have won the purse bids to stage the fight. Their winning R110 000 bid [$11,215.38 dollars] was on Thursday described by Mthalane’s trainer, Nick Durandt as "one of the lowest I can recall in recent times for a world title fight.”
Durandt said it was “a sad reflection on the state of South African boxing”. No South African promoters bid to stage the fight.
Mthalane has to make a mandatory title defence against Olteanu, a Romania-born Spaniard. The bidding process was held in New York.
"Mthalane is one of South Africa's top internationally rated boxers," said Durandt. "Yet no local promoter was willing to lay out R110 000 to enable him to defend his title in his own country.
"Now Moruti has to travel to a foreign country for the fourth time to make his fifth title defence.”
The champion is likely to earn less than R100 000 for the fight.
Durandt said it was not yet clear where or when the fight would take place. “We're ready to fight tomorrow if necessary, although the IBF have stipulated a three-month mandatory period."
Mthalane, who is based in Johannesburg, has held the IBF title since 2009. He is said to have become frustrated by the lack of action after knocking out Ricardo Nunes in Panama City in September last year.
Ring magazine rates him fourth in the flyweight division. He has a record of 29 wins in 31 fights but has defended his title only four times in four years.
"Mthalane should be defending his title in South Africa, but, mainly for financial reasons, we now have to travel overseas again. But I’m sure we'll do what is required and return with the title once more."