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Moruti ‘Babyface’ Mthalane Decisions Kuroda in Japan, Retains Flyweight Title

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

*Photo Credit: Businesslive.co.za

In the past 10 years, Moruti ‘Babyface’ Mthalane has been in 14 world title bouts of the International Boxing Federation, International Boxing Organization, or both. After losing the first one to Nonito Donaire, currently, the World Boxing Association World Super Bantamweight champion, Mthalane has won 13 world title bouts in succession over a ten-year stretch.

Mthalane, 38-2 with 25 knockouts, KawZulu-Natal, South Africa, retained his International Boxing Federation World Flyweight title by 12 round unanimous decision on May 13, 2019, over the Japanese Flyweight champion, Masayuki Kuroda, 30-8-3 with 16 knockouts, Kawasaki, Japan, at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Considering the difficulty of foreign fighters winning on the road, especially Japan, it was still remarkable Mthalane was able to win in Japan

Kuroda did some good body shot work in the early rounds, but Mthalane’s left hook-right jab combinations, caused a bloody cut above Kuroda’s right eye. By the later rounds, Mthalane’s right jab had both of challenger Kuroda’s eyes swollen. Kuroda tried landing heavier blows late in the bout, and got severe punishment in return. For Kuroda, who has never fought outside of Japan in his 41 professional bouts, it was his first world title bout.

Mthalane, age 36, best known in South Africa, has also fought in Las Vegas, Macao, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. Winning on the judges’ scorecards against a Japanese challenger in Tokyo, Japan, is quite a feat for a world champion in any weight category.

Result: Moruti Mthalane Win 12 Masayuki Kuroda, Flyweights
Mthalane Retains International Boxing Federation World Flyweight Title
Scoring: 117-11, 116-112, 116-112 for Mthalane. Referee: Mark Nelson

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Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert is the Head Boxing Correspondent for Real Combat Media Boxing since 2013. Robert is also a photographer and ringside reporter for the RCM Tri State region which includes NJ, NY and PA. Robert conducts exclusive interviews, provides historical boxing articles and provides editorial ringside coverage of major boxing events. You can contact or follow Robert on Facebook and by email at robertbrizel@realcombatmedia.com.