Isaac Hlatshwayo did South Africa proud by winning the IBF welterweight crown at the weekend.
The 147-pound class is one where very few SA fighters have starred on the world stage. Harold Volbrecht lost in two challenges in the 1980s, while Peter Malinga, Gary Murray and most recently, Lovemore Ndou, have lifted marginal crowns.
As the holder of the IBF title – one of the four mainstream belts – Hlatshwayo now rubs shoulders with the likes of Shane Mosley (WBA champ) and Miguel Cotto (WBO champ). And don’t forget Joshua Clottey, who had relinquished the IBF belt to go after Cotto. And then you have Manny Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather in the wings!
Just within the IBF fold, previous champions include Mayweather, Zab Judah, Vernon Forrest, Felix Trinidad, Lloyd Honeyghan and Donald Curry.
The welterweight division has been one of boxing’s most exciting over the years, hosting stars like Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya.
Hlatshwayo, in winning the vacant IBF title on points against Delvin Rodrigues, a capable American fighter, will still have to prove himself in the division. Going into this fight, The Ring magazine had Isaac ranked eighth, while Fightnews.com listed him at six.
It’s difficult to say where Isaac will go now, but whatever his future holds, hopefully he’ll get to earn a mountain of money along the way.
Good luck, Isaac!
It’s easy let’s Isaac Hlatshwayo vs Lovemore Ndou be on and it will be a good test for him, if anything SA will loose nothing if this fight happens since they are both SA’s