The July 15th Kuala Lumpur show headlined by Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse has its first undercard bout, as Moruti Mthalane and Muhammad Waseem are officially set to fight for the vacant IBF flyweight title. The fight was originally meant to be an eliminator before champion Donnie Nietes vacated the belt.
Mthalane (35-2, 24 KO) is 21-1 in the last 13.5 years, losing only to Nonito Donaire in that span, and knocked out both Zolani Tete and Johnriel Casimero during his time as IBF champ. He missed all of 2013 and 2016, losing his title in the former case, but went 3-0 in 2017.
“Babyface” turns 36 this October.
Waseem (8-0, 6 KO), an amateur standout, has been in limbo for a while thanks to financial issues that cost him a shot at WBC champ Daigo Higa. He’s 3-0 over bottom-of-the-barrel opposition since edging rising Filipino Giemel Magramo in November 2016. It’s nice to see him finally get a shot at the big time.
This looks like a competitive bout between solid finishers, so here’s hoping it fulfills that promise.