Boxing South Africa (BSA) will use this coming weekend’s Boxing Awards to honour the legendary IBF flyweight world champion Moruti “Baby Face” Mthalane at the Sandton Convention Centre on Friday.

Mthalane successfully defended his world title when he beat Masayi Kuroda of Japan on unanimous points decision in Tokyo, Japan on Monday.

Judges Neville Hotz and Masakasa Murase both scored it 116-112, and judge Ian Scott had a more realistic score of 117-112.

This was the second defense for Mthalane after having defeated another Japanese Masahiro Sakamoto on the 31st of December last year. Boxing SA CEO Tsholo Lejaka says the 36-year-old will be honoured on Friday.

This is Mthalane’s second reign as the IBF flyweight champion and there’s been talk that the next fight for him could be a unification bout. The other main organisation champions are Artem Dalakian (WBA, from Azerbaijan), Charlie Edwards (WBC, from England) and Kosei Tanaka (WBO, from Japan). Lejaka says Mthalane is in the league of his own.

The legendary SA boxing official, who has worked with some of the top sanctioning bodies around the world especially the World Boxing Association (WBA), Stan Christodoulou is also set to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. According to Lejaka, there will be three other boxing legend who will be honoured on the night.

The International Boxing Organization (IBO) welterweight champion Thulani Mbenge who is also one of the nominees for the male boxer of the year award, says legends like Mthalane deserve recognition.

Mbenge says boxers like Mthalane are the shining light for boxing in the country.

Boxers like Mthalane and the World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight world champion Zolani “Last Born” Tete continue to achieve big things away from home.

They will and defend their world titles overseas and Mbenge says this separates them from the rest. – Report by Velile Mnyandu