Watch me now‚ says ‘Baby Face’ Mthalane after going Global

10 May 2019 - 13:17 By Bongani Magasela
Moruti Mthalane hoisted high as he wins by TKO against Genesis Libranza during the Boxing from Wembley Arena on April 28, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Moruti Mthalane hoisted high as he wins by TKO against Genesis Libranza during the Boxing from Wembley Arena on April 28, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

While Moruti “Baby Face” Mthalane’s achievements have been outstanding his trainer‚ Colin “Nomakanjani” Nathan‚ believes there is so much more to come now that Mthalane has joined MTK Global‚ one of the world's foremost boxer management companies.

Bob Yalen – president of MTK Global‚ which manages more than 150 boxers worldwide – welcomed Nathan on board in January. The announcement that Mthalane had teamed up with MTK was made this week. Nathan is the head of MTK Africa.

“This is another landmark deal and we’re so proud to welcome one of the all-time great South African fighters to MTK Africa‚” Nathan said from Japan‚ where Mthalane will bid for the second defence of his IBF strap against Masayuki Kuroda on Monday.

“While Moruti’s achievements have been outstanding‚ we believe there’s so much more to come and the help and backing of MTK Global ensures all his efforts will be channeled correctly.

“Myself and Moruti are delighted to be working with the best management company in the world and look forward to more success. Unification fights are inevitable and this brings them closer.”

Mthalane agreed the deal was a big career move.

“Since I have joined Colin‚ my career and life have changed for the better‚” he said.

“When I heard Colin was becoming head of MTK Africa‚ it was a natural move for me to sign for MTK Global because they are by far the best management company in the world.

“I have reclaimed the IBF title I never lost in the ring and now I’m looking forward to great things with my new company.”

Mthalane‚ Nathan and cutman Bernie Pailman have been in Japan since Monday.

Mthalane won the IBF belt in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in July last year and the 36-year-old veteran from Lindelani‚ Durban successfully defended the title in Japan in December.

When Mthalane won the IBF belt he actually reclaimed the title that he had vacated in 2014 because he was unhappy about the purse money he was to earn for his fifth defence against Amnat Ruenroeng in Thailand.

The boxer‚ who was trained by Nick Durandt‚ then challenged for the IBO belt‚ which he won in Durban under promoter Thulani Magudulela‚ who also organised the boxer’s two defences.

Mthalane then spent two years without action before promoter Tshele Kometsi came to his rescue as the IBO was about to relieve him of its belt.

Kometsi‚ who trades under TK Promotions‚ staged Mthalane’s defence against Genisis Libranza and also organised the IBF International championship fights in a short space of time.

During that time Mthalane had joined Nathan‚ whose connections abroad convinced the IBF championship committee to approve Mthalane to feature in an elimination bout.

But Donnie Nietes‚ who held the actual IBF belt‚ vacated it and moved up a weight division. The championship vommittee matched Mthalane with US-based Pakistani Waseem Muhammad for the vacant title.

The local boxer won that bout in Malaysia‚ defended it in December‚ and is back in Japan to take on Kuroda on Monday.

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