boxing

South Africa’s Moruti Mthalane is new IBF Flyweight Champion

The new International Boxing Federation Flyweight Champion hails from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Moruti “Babyface” Mthalane, 35, captured the previously vacant title at the MP Productions boxing event “Fight of Champions” on July 15, 2018 at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Mthalane faced Muhammad “Falcon” Waseem, 30, of Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan for the title. After 12 rounds, two judges scored it 114-113 while the third judge gave it 116-110 all in favor of the South African boxer.

“Fight of Champions” marked Mthalane’s 37th bout as a professional boxer and the 11th time he won a professional bout via decision. He now holds a record of 35 wins and 2 losses.

By winning at “Fight of Champions,” Mthalane is now riding a 13-bout winning streak. The only two boxers to defeat Mthalane in a professional boxing bout are Nkqubela Gwazela of South Africa and Nonito Donaire of the Philippines.

On September 24, 2004, Gwazela knocked out Mthalane in the 10th of 12 rounds at the Graceland Hotel Casino in Secunda, Mpumalanga, South Africa. This made Gwazela the first boxer to defeat Mthalane.

On November 1, 2008, Donaire and Mthalane competed for the IBF and International Boxing Organization flyweight titles at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The Filipino boxer knocked out his South African opponent in the sixth of 12 rounds.

The loss to Donaire seemed to have fueled Mthalane as it led the South African boxer to 13 consecutive wins. Before beating Waseem in Malaysia, Mthalane defeated Lehlohonolo Ramagole, Julio Cesar Miranda, Zolani Tete, Johnriel Casimero, Andrea Sarritzu, Ricardo Nunes, Jether Oliva, Odilon Zaleta, Renz Rosia, Genisis Libranza, Isaac Quaye and Ardin Diale.

On November 10, 2017, Mthalane competed for the then vacant IBF International Flyweight Championship against Diale, who is fighting out of Malungon, Saranggani, Philippines. The South African boxer claimed the title by knocking out his Filipino opponent in the second of 12 rounds.

Here is an interview with Mthalane prior to his “Fight of Champions” bout against Waseem:

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