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Moruti Mthalane wants to unify flyweight titles with Charlie Edwards after Masahiro Sakamoto defence in Macau on NYE

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Two-time IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane 36-2 (24) has revealed he wants to unify the division if he is successful in his world title defence against Masahiro Sakamoto 13-1 (9) at the Wynn Palace Cotai in Macao on New Year’s Eve.

And the 36-year-old South African veteran wants to take on newly-minted WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards 14-1 (6) who is coming off a clear-cut 12-round points victory over reigning champion Cristofer Rosales 28-4 (19) of Nicaragua last weekend.

“At the moment I’m looking for the new champion Charlie Edwards. I would be very happy to get a chance to unify against him,” said Mthalane to The Ring.

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“I do believe it can be a good fight against him. He’s still young, he’s very strong, I watched his fight, it was good, he’s a promising boxer but I would like to fight him.”

It’s a fight that Edwards is apparently up for, replying on Twitter: “Let’s make it happen.”

Before that fight can happen Mthalane must first get past Sakamoto. The 27-year-old Japanese boxer is on a five-fight KO streak since his lone career loss to future WBO flyweight champion Sho Kimura by majority decision in just his ninth pro bout two years ago.

“I think Sakamoto hits really hard, he’s a young guy coming up,” said Mthalane’s trainer Colin Nathan to The Ring. “Moruti’s experience, and the fact that he’s a gritty, determined champion will pull him through to victory.”

Mthalane is equally confident that he has the tools to diffuse Sakamoto’s vaunted power.

“I saw he’s got power but I’m used to fighting with guys with more power, so it doesn’t give me any problem. My defense is always good,” said Mthalane.

After 18 years in the pro game Mthalane says it’s his dedication to all aspects of his craft that has allowed him to have such great longevity in the sport.

“It’s in my blood, I like it, I’m always in the gym. That’s why I can say I’m still on top,” he said.

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