Filipino boxers

Jayson Mama seeks Mthalane title in South Africa

Roy Luarca

UNDERDOG. Jayson Mama looks to pull off an upset agains Moruti Mthalane, who has won his last 16 fights.

File photo

Jayson Mama hopes to evade the fate of 6 fellow Filipinos who tried and failed to beat South African icon Moruti Mthalane

Unbeaten Jayson Mama leaves the country next week to pursue his world title dream against South African icon Moruti Mthalane on Sunday, December 20 (Monday, December 21 Philippine time) in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, nearly 11,000 kilometers away.

Mama, 15-0 with 8 knockouts, hopes to evade the fate of 6 fellow Filipinos, including World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero, who tried and failed to beat Mthalane, the reigning International Boxing Federation 118-pound king.

Though already 38 years old, Mthalane (39-2 with 26 knockouts) has been tagged the huge favorite over the 23-year-old Mama, who has no significant victim on his resume, when they collide at the Olive Convention Center.

Mthalane also boasts a fifth-round TKO victory over former two-division world champion Zolani Tete, who was demolished by Casimero in 3 rounds last year.

Mthalane has won his last 16 fights since being stopped by “Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire in 2008, counting among his victims Jether Oliva (split decision) in 2014, Renz Rosia (9th round TKO) in 2015, Genisis Libranza (KO), and Andre Diale (2nd round TKO) in 2017.

In 2007, Mthalane disposed of Apol Sucio in just 38 seconds.

Mama, pride of General Santos City’s Sanman Promotions, ruled the IBF Silk Road tournament over Thai Teeraphong Utaida in Beijing in 2019.

Chief trainer Ronerex Dalut and deputy trainer Jefti Tinamisan will accompany Mama to South Africa, according to Sanman Promotions head JC Manangquil.

Though Manangquil admits Mthalane has a big edge in experience, he said Mama is talented and has trained hard for over two months in GenSan.

Manangquil also hopes Mthalane, who is half an inch shorter than the 5-foot-4 Mama but is 3 1/2 inches longer in reach, has lost a step and may be vulnerable to a relentless attack.

Since turning pro 20 years ago Mthalane has undergone a total of 248 rounds, way above the 79 rounds posted by Mama in a four-year-career. –