By Carlos Costa
Mthalane and Kuroda ready to rumble today. South African IBF Flyweight World Champion Moruti “Baby Face” Mthalane (37-2, 25 KO’s) and world-ranked local warrior Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16 KO’s) are set to lock horns for Mthalane’s title today, Monday May 13, at the famed Korakue Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
The veteran Mthalane, 36, aims at extending his new reign as IBF 112-pound king after stopping Masahiro Sakamoto in ten chapters for a successful first defense last new year’s eve in Macao.
Meanwhile, the challenger Kuroda, Japan’s successful flyweight national champion, do not want to let pass his second shot at a world title.
Six years ago, a younger Kuroda challenged then WBA Flyweight world champion Juan Carlos Reveco (now Reveco is retired), losing the twelve chapters battle by points.
Will this time the fully-committed Masayuki Kuroda, 32, make his dream come true?
Or will brave-heart, experienced Moruti Mthalane make good use of his ring savvy and toughness to deal with Kuroda, the same way he dealt with Sakamoto five months ago?
The outcome of the Mthalane vs Kuroda IBF fight might be of interest to Filipino boxing fans as three Pinoy fighters are ranked by the IBF in this flyweight division:
Hard-punching 24-year-old Giemel Magramo (23-1, 19 KO’s) of Parañaque, Metro Manila, is IBF # 5.
21-year-old unbeaten Gensan flyweight Jayson Mama (12-0, 9 KO’s) of the popular Sanman Boxing Gym is IBF # 10.
And 23-year-old Ronnie Baldonado (14-1-1, 9 KO’s) of Carmen, Cotabato del Norte, is IBF # 11.
The fight supervisor for the IBF is Tsuyoshi Yasukochi.
The Mthalane vs Kuroda rumble for the IBF Flyweight world title is a production of promoter Shosei Nitta of Kawasaki Nitta Promotions.
May the Best Man Win
The author Carlos Costa is a Panama boxing reporter living in the Philippines. Carlos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and whatsapp/viber/wechat: +639184538152.