In successfully defending his IBF flyweight title via a ninth-round technical knockout of Japanese former three-weight division champion Akira Yaegashi, Mthalane ensured he completed the decade as Africa’s sole bonafide world champion.
Surely now a unification bout with any of the other three flyweight title holders should be the next logical step for the 37-year-old boxer from Pietermaritzburg. A bout with any of Kosei Tanaka (WBO), Artem Dalakian (WBA) or Roy Martinez (WBC) would be a blockbuster of note, wouldn’t it?
Come January Mthalane and his trainer Colin Nathan must surely put the unification bout wheels in motion. And given the manner in which he dismantled Yaegeshi, Mthalane should be able to mix it up with any of the trio.
Typically, he started yesterday’s fight a little slow with Yaegeshi the aggressor and in control of the initial two rounds. But once he warmed up, the man affectionately called Babyface showed his prowess and it was evident who the champion in the square ring was.