The current landscape in the flyweight division is wide open and has a mix of good fighters. Fighters from Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Ukraine are some of the top fighters in that division. However, one fighter from South Africa is the number one fighter of the division. That fighter is current IBF World Flyweight Champion Moruti Mthalane.
Mthalane has been around for a while and stills remains as one of the top fighters today.
Moruti “Babyface” Mthalane (39-2, 26 KO’s), of South Africa, started his pro career in 2000 and he is known as a boxer puncher with an aggressive style. At the beginning of his career, he had a record of 14-0 before suffering his first loss by stoppage in 2004 against fellow South African Nkqubela Gwazela.
After that, he went undefeated in nine fights in a row and then he got his first title shot. His first title shot was against top pound for pound fighter and future hall of famer Nonito Donaire in 2008.
The fight was for the IBF World Flyweight Title. Mthalane lost his title fight against Donaire after Mthalane suffered a cut from a punch by Donaire. The doctor called off the fight after six rounds.
Even though Mthalane lost, he can hold his head up high as he held his own against Donaire. Eventually. Mthalane got his second chance for the IBF World Flyweight Title when Donaire vacated the title.
Mthalane made the most of his opportunity when he defeated Julio Cesar Miranda by unanimous decision in 2009.
Mthalane then made four successful title defenses that ended all by stoppage. Mthalane vacated the title in 2012 but continued his winning ways with six more wins and then went for a major title again.
In 2018, Mthalane became a world champion again when he defeated Muhammad Waseem by unanimous decision for the IBF World Flyweight Title. Mthalane has now made three defenses of the title.
What is impressive about Mthalane is he is still competing at the top level at the same weight class. He is now at the age of 38. There are very few fighters that fight in the same weight class for that long of a career.
In addition, even though Mthalane has fought mainly in South Africa, his last four title fights have been away from his home country. He has defeated those opponents in China, Japan, and Malaysia.
Just like fighters such as Glen Johnson, Saoul Mamby, Daniel Zaragoza, and Wilfredo Vazquez (just to name a few), Mthalane is a true road warrior just like them.
Once again, Mthalane will look to be victorious in enemy territory this Friday in London. His opponent will be British hopeful Sunny “Showtime” Edwards (15-0, 4 KO’s). There is a lot of buzz behind Edwards over in the UK. He is known for his speed and flashiness.
So far, he has beaten all his opponents. It will be an interesting fight. It’s a matchup between the young and upcoming contender against the older but more experienced champion.
With all that being said, Mthalane will look to continue his winning streak overseas and prove why is he is the number one fighter in the flyweight division.