Moruti Mthalane set to take on the undefeated Jayson Mama
IBF Flyweight champion Moruti “Babyface” Mthalane (39-2, 26ko) will make the fourth defense of his title against mandatory and undefeated young lion Jayson “Smasher” Mama (15-0, 8ko) December 20.
The most interesting part of this story is the 38-year-old South African is still fighting at a high level. Furthermore, the ageless wonder has not lost a fight since 2008 against then-IBF champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire. This was at a time when Donaire was tearing through the division, crushing the dreams of all challengers.
OUT-RUNNING FATHER TIME
The reigning champ has been turning away all challengers for the throne for the last three years. The most impressive victory was when he handed talented Pakistani boxer Muhammad “Falcon” Waseem (10-1, 7ko) his first defeat in 2018.
Mthalane would then close out 2019 in a title defense against Akira Yaegashi (28-6, 16ko) on a high note with a seven-figure payday. This was a major accomplishment in the lower-weight divisions.
Of course, boxing pugilists are wondering how much longer can the elder statesman continue to evade father time. Especially since he has not been in the ring for almost one year. Such a long layoff could work against the IBF champion.
The younger Filipino challenger understands the importance of this opportunity, especially with this being his first title shot.
Mama spent two weeks in Japan sparring then-WBO champion Kosei Tanaka in 2019. It was an experience the young man believed would help in the long run. Also, this will be the first time he will fight in South Africa, putting him in hostile territory.
Mthalane will have home-field advantage, fighting in his backyard for the first time since 2017. Moreover, he is undefeated when fighting at home. In the last outing at the Olive Convention Centre, he won via ninth round stoppage.
The IBF champion still has a serious bite, but is this the fight where the “bill finally becomes due?” Or will he be able to put this on his tab, walking away with another victory?
By: Garrison Bland