By Ron Jackson
South Africa’s Nkosinathi Joyi faces the toughest fight of his career when he meets Filipino Florante Condes in an IBF mini flyweight title eliminator at the Orient Theatre in East London on Friday night. The fight will be presented by Branco Sports Productions. Joyi (19-0, 15 KOs) who fights from the southpaw stance is ranked at the number three in the latest IBF rankings (there are no fighters ranked at one and two in terms of the IBF policy) is the current IBO strawweight champion, but will have to relinquish the belt the moment he steps into the ring with Condes (23-4-1, 20 KOs) who is ranked at number four by the IBF.
The 26-year-old Joyi, a former SA mini flyweight champion won the vacant IBO belt in November 2006 when he stopped Armando de la Cruz from the Philippines in the second round. He has made successful defences of the belt against Gabriel Pumar, Sammy Gutierrez and Lorenzo Trejo with all the victories coming inside the distance.
Condes was born on May 20, 1980 in Sampaguta, Looc, Romblon in the Philippines and made his pro debut on June 15, 2002 with a second round knockout win over Ruben Billones. He was outpointed in his next fight by Sonny Boy Jaro but then remained undefeated in his next five fights before losing on points to Greg Mangan. After this setback he scored eight wins inside the distance before dropping a ten round split decision to Benjie Sorolla. After this setback he scored wins over Danny Linasa and Jhay Herla before stopping Philip Parcon in the sixth round to win the Philippines Boxing Federation minimumweight title. He made a successful defence of the title against Elmer Gejon, Armando de la Cruz (Joyi stopped De la Cruz in two rounds) and Fabio Marfa. On July 2007, fighting outside his home country for the first time, he outpointed the highly regarded cwho was (61-5-5) at the time to win the IBF mini flyweight belt.
Unfortunately in June last year he lost the belt on a split decision to Mexican, Raul Garcia (26-0-1, 16 KOs) in Mexico, when making his first defence. Since losing the belt he has only had one fight and that was in December 2008, winning a very close five round technical decision over Ronel Ferreras. Condes was cut on the corner of the right eye after an accidental clash of heads at the end of the fifth round, so the fight had to go to the score cards.
Condes who has a knockout ratio of 72% has the nickname “Little Pacquiao” because of his power punching. On the form shown by Condes in his two IBF title fights against quality opponents the South African will do well to come out a winner and earn the right to challenge the Mexican champion Raul Garcia.
The officials for the fight are referee Bill Clancy from the US and the judges are Deon Dwarte, Isaac Tshabalala and Wally Snowball all from South Africa.
Meanwhile, it has been announced that Malcolm Klassen, the IBF junior lightweight champion, will make a voluntary defence of his belt against Robert Guerrero at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas on August 22.