Baby Face, Hardcore set for flyweight

FRIENDS: Moruti Mthalane and Gideon Buthelezi.
FRIENDS: Moruti Mthalane and Gideon Buthelezi.

Johannesburg - South African boxing fans are bracing themselves for a super fight featuring two of the country’s best flyweights: Moruti “Baby Face” Mthalane and Gideon “Hardcore” Buthelezi.

The non-title bout that the country’s boxing fans have been impatient to see has been mooted by Golden Gloves Promotions.

Orthodox fighter

It should be in a similar mould to the World Boxing Union super featherweight title fight between Cassius “Hitman” Baloyi and Phillip “Timebomb” Ndou at Carnival City in 2001. Baloyi won that gruelling bout by a unanimous points decision.

The two small fighters, who are supremely talented and regarded as the best in the small division, are oozing confidence and are ready to give the country the best fight of their lives.

A look at their records show fighters with contrasting styles. Mthalane is an orthodox fighter who holds the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) flyweight crown, while southpaw Buthelezi is the IBO super flyweight title holder.

They are friends outside the square jungle, but they agree that their friendship will be put aside when they trade punches.

Teach a lesson

Mthalane, who is mentored by Nic Collins, is fresh from a fourth-round knockout win over Filipino Genisis Libranza in defence of his IBO crown at Wembley Arena last month.

Before that fight, he had not fought for almost two years after beating Renz Rosia, also from the Philippines, by a sixth-round stoppage in a title defence at Olive Convention Centre in Durban in December 2015.

“I’m aware how important this fight is to local fans. I’m ready to teach Gideon a lesson – show him who is the best in the ring,” said Mthalane.

But Buthelezi said he would come out victorious. He is renowned for confusing his foes by chasing them around the ring before connecting with a big left to knock them down.

“I’ll shed weight to fight as a flyweight and it won’t bother me in any way. I’d like to win by knockout and prove that I’m the best. I can’t let the country down,” said Buthelezi.

His last outing was a unanimous points decision win over Mexican Angel Aviles in defence of his crown at the Indoor Sports Centre in Kempton Park in March.

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