MDANTSANE’S boxing hope Nkosinathi “Mabhere” Joyi has wrapped up his preparations for the IBO junior flyweight title clash against Filipino Rey Loreto and will leave for France on Sunday together with a SA boxing delegation.
Joyi will face Loreto at Salle des etoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on February 1.
The tournament will also feature unbeaten Kazakhstani Gennady Golovkin defending his WBA and IBO middleweight titles against American-based Ghanian Osamanu Adama.
In the same show hard-punching DRC-born South African Ilunga Makabu will go to war against late replacement and unbeaten Argentinean Ruben Angel Mino
There will be other bouts featuring European fighters in a show which has been described as the best tournament of the new year in Europe.
Joyi will be fighting in Europe for the first time and is confident of leaving a lasting impression in a tournament that will be beamed across the continent.
“This is the best opportunity for us to show our talent and we will not disappoint,” said Joyi’s business manager Siphatho Handi.
Joyi left East London early last month to prepare for the fight in Johannesburg under the tutelage of revered trainer Gert Strydom.
“While we were feasting during Christmas and New Year celebrations Joyi was hard at work and now it is time to reap rewards,” Handi continued.
The 31-year-old Mdantsane southpaw has previously battled with weight in a bizarre fashion when it kept dropping down when he is in vigorous training.
This occurred when he was still campaigning in the mini-flyweight division where he was rated as the best in the world while holding the IBF crown.
However since moving up to the junior flyweight last August, when he destroyed Filipino Benezer Alolod in nine rounds, he seems to have settled well in the new division.
Joyi will enter the fight with a psychological advantage as one of Loreto’s 13 losses in 30 bouts was at the hands Alolod in March last year.
The 23-year-old who is also a left hander, like Joyi and Alolod, has since rebounded to beat Thai boxer Pornsawan Porpramook last August to earn the IBO title shot.
Handi admitted that a knockout win by Joyi will go a long way in reinforcing the perception that he is back in the big league after a defeat by Hekkie Budler last June.
“After what happened in the Budler fight people are still sceptical about Joyi but if we keep knocking out all these opponents, doubting Thomases will be convinced.”
Indeed Joyi’s defeat by Budler was his second in 26 fights with an impressive 17 stoppages.
Joyi and his team will leave the country for Monaco on Sunday.
There are no worries of being affected by altitude in the SA team as Monaco is a coastal city like East London.