By Joe Koizumi
Photos: Sumio Yamada
Ring-crafty and physically stronger South African, 36-year-old Morti Mthalane (37-2, 25 KOs), 111.5, retained his IBF flyweight belt as he continually battered game Japanese Masahiro Sakamoto (13-2, 9 Kos), 111.5, in furious exchanges of punches, and finally retired him with the doctor’s advice to the referee because of his closed right optic at the end of the tenth round on Monday at the Wynn Palace Cotai, Macao in China.
The veteran champ, who made his first defense, was leading on points—100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. The referee was Ignatius Missailidis (Australia).