The leading strawweight boxers in the world seem to be giving South Africa’s Nkosinathi Joyi a wide berth.
Promoter Branco Milenkovic said after Joyi’s victory over Japan’s Takayama Katsunari in East London last Friday he was trying to arrange a title unification bout for the IBF champion.
But he conceded on Tuesday it won’t be easy to find someone to fight Joyi, who is ranked No 1 in the division by Ring magazine.
“The champions of the other major associations, and their handlers and promoters, are all running scared. They don’t want anything to do with Joyi.
"We have made overtures to obtain a fight with other strawweight champions, such as Akira Yaegashi and Kazuto Loka of Japan and Mexico's Moises Fuentes.
“But the WBA, WBC and WBO champions have backed off and effectively said 'see you another time'," Milenkovic explained.
There seems little prospect of a unification fight in the next 12 months, "possibly even longer.”
The undefeated Joyi may have to go abroad to keep busy. “What we may have to do is take Joyi overseas. We are considering offers from Mexico,” the promoter said.
He agreed that Joyi “looked a little rusty in the early rounds against Takayama after a 14-month break. He clearly needs more action."
Joyi has fought only three times in the last three years and received scant financial reward for his talent. His purse for the Takayama fight was about R150 000.
He is, however highly regarded, not only by Ring but by other authorities as well.