Sivenathi Nontshinga outfights Hector Flores to split decision victory, wins IBF junior flyweight title
South Africa’s Sivenathi Nontshinga made good in his first fight abroad, dropping Hector Flores once to claim the vacant IBF junior flyweight title on Saturday night in Hermosillo, Mexico.
Two judges scored the fight 116-111 and 114-113 in favor of Nontshinga (11-0, 9 knockouts), while the third had the fight scored 115-112 in favor of Flores (20-1-4, 10 KOs) in the fight which aired on DAZN as part of the undercard for the Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Argi Cortes card.
Nontshinga, 23, dropped Flores, 29, with a right hand, which set the tone for the rest of the fight. Flores came back in the fourth by rocking Nontshinga with a right of his own. The fight would evolve into a Fight of the Year candidate with the momentum swinging back in forth, often from moment to moment.
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The rangier Nontshinga was unable to hold off the Tijuana native at a distance, but managed to fight Garcia off to earn his respect. Garcia’s face was a bloodied, swollen mess at the end, but still had enough energy to continue throwing to the final bell.
The 5’5″ Nontshinga of Reeston, Eastern Cape, South Africa is trained by Colin Nathan and had been matched ambitiously since turning professional in 2017. His previous fight was in April of 2021, when he narrowly outpointed Filipino knockout puncher Christian Araneta.
The IBF belt had previously been held by Nicaragua’s Felix Alvarado, before he vacated the title in March to begin campaigning at 112 pounds.