MTHALANE HOPING TO RECLAIM HIS IBO TITLE
By: Neo Goba
The Southern Sun Maharani Hotel hosted a media conference on Friday afternoon ahead of the clash of local boy Moruti Mthalane and Philippines international, Jether Oliva at the International Convention Centre (ICC) on Saturday night.
The boxing match sees official weigh-in for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Flyweight Title Fight that both opponents are looking to go home with.
Mthalane has never fought in Durban before and he believes that since the fight will take place in Durban, he won’t disappoint.
“I’ve been training very hard for this game and I know for sure that I’ll be crowned the new IBO Champion. I watched a few videos of my opponent fighting and I must say he’s a good boxer but not of my caliber,” said Mthalane.
The Former IBF Flyweight champion has a chance of winning a second “world” title this weekend since he’ll be in home soil.
Filipino born Oliva has a record of 20-1-2, including 10 knockouts, after seven years as a professional. Mthalane’s record of 29-2 includes 20 wins inside the distance. Ironically, he also believes that he has what it takes to take the title home.
“I know that I’ve got what it takes to win. It’s very important for me to win because I’m not only representing only me, but also my country,” said Oliva.
Little is known about the 26-year-old Oliva. Astonishingly he remains undefeated in his first 18 fights, fighting little-known opponents in his own country. He then went to Mexico to challenge Ulises Solis for the IBF Light-flyweight belt and was well beaten.
KwaZulu-Natal Sport and Recreation MEC, Ntombikayise Sibhidla–Saphetha said that they are honoured to get an opportunity to host a boxing match of this caliber.
“The people of KZN have waited long enough to see the international boxing to come back to our province as we boast of a large number of world class boxers. As the provincial government, we have done what’s in our power to come out in numbers to witness a world class fight,” said Sibhidla-Saphetha.
The bout in the ICC will be televised live on Supersport 209.