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Moruti Mthalane turns down unification fight with Charlie Edwards — for now

The fight isn’t off the table, it just won’t happen in July.

Donnie Nietes v Kazuto Ioka - WBO Super Flyweight Title Bout Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Colin Nathan, trainer and manager for IBF flyweight titleholder Moruti Mthalane, says he turned down an offer for a unification bout with WBC titleholder Charlie Edwards, but only because he felt that July was too soon to make the fight.

“I turned down the date because it is too soon. Moruti has just fought; he needs time to recover. It would have meant going straight back into another camp, so I felt it is not good for Moruti.”

The good news is this does not mean that an Mthalane-Edwards fight is off the table or anything like that, just that Mthalane’s team — probably rightly — feels that July is too soon to take that sort of bout.

Mthalane (38-2, 25 KO) just fought on May 13 in Japan, outpointing Masayuki Kuroda in an entertaining 12-round fight. The 36-year-old South African is on a 15-fight winning streak, which dates back to a 2008 loss to Nonito Donaire.

Edwards (15-1, 6 KO) upset Cristofer Rosales to win the WBC 112-pound belt in December, and made a successful first defense on March 23, shutting out Angel Moreno. The 26-year-old British fighter has won seven straight following a TKO loss to John Riel Casimero in an IBF title bid in 2016.

Mthalane and Edwards both sounded interested in the fight after Mthalane beat Kuroda, so I really would take this as no more than a “just not in July” thing. It seems for now like a fight that is definitely still possible for 2019, and a good one at that.

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