Tamara vs. Nunez on April 26, winner gets Mthalane Shot
Former IBF junior flyweight titleholder Carlos Tamara and Ricardo Nunez will clash on April 26 at Roberto Duran Stadium in Nunez’s backyard of Panama City, Panama in an elimination bout for the No. 1 spot in the IBF flyweight rankings.
The winner will be declared the mandatory challenger for IBF flyweight titleholder Moruti Mthalane (28-2, 19 knockouts), of South Africa. The bout will be promoted by Rogelio Espino of Promociones y Eventos del Istmo.
Tamara (22-6-1, 16 KO), of Sincelejo, Colombia, won his world title with a stunning come-from-behind stoppage of the heavily-favored Brian Viloria in 2010, only to lose it to Luis Lazarte in another unlikely upset. Now 28, the 2004 Colombian Olympic representative is rebounding from a defeat to unbeaten Filipino contender Milan Melindo and most recently fought Jesus Jimenez to a draw that some felt should have gone Tamara’s way.
Nunez (23-2, 19 KOs), of Panama City, Panama, has won six straight since a fifth-round KO loss to Drian Francisco in 2010 but hasn’t faced the level of opposition Tamara has. Nunez, a 24-year-old contender known as “El Matematico,” has only had to go the distance once since that loss.
“I knew I would be right back into another world title opportunity because of my dedication and will to become world champion again,” Tamara told RingTV.com an e-mail. “I firmly believe that the Nunez fight would be a tremendous step for Nunez since he has never faced the opposition I have during my career. But that aside, I feel I will be victorious and on to another world title.”
The 29-year-old Mthalane has made three successful defenses of the belt he won in a battle with Julio Cesar Miranda in 2009. Mthalane is currently the No. 3-rated flyweight in THE RING’s ratings.
Photo / Ryan Songalia
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News and the Filipino Reporter newspaper in New York City. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel. He can be reached at [email protected]. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia