Joyi won't be stripped of title
Nkosinathi Joyi will not lose his IBF strawweight title if his mandatory defence does not take place before the end of November.
The South African was due to face a challenge from Kutsanari Takayama of Japan on October 29 but the tournament in East London fell through.
Promoter Branco Milenkovic said on Friday the IBF had accepted that the postponement of the tournament was beyond the control of Branco Sports Promotions.
"They have given us additional time to stage the bout, which might now take place in Gauteng," Milenkovic said.
It means Joyi, rated by many as the best SA boxer, pound-for-pound, and ranked No 1 in the world in his division by Ring Magazine, has been granted a reprieve.
Milenkovic said the IBF had granted an extension for the title bout "due to extenuating circumstances."
He explained that "the fight was to have been sponsored by the Eastern Cape government through their Tourism Board. But the sponsorship was withdrawn at the last minute, leaving us in a predicament without the promised financial backing."
Joyi's defence against Takayama remains an eagerly awaited clash since their first bout was declared a no-contest after an accidental clash of heads in the third round.
"Joyi is the highest rated South African in the world," Milenkovic said.
Takayama proved his class when he stopped Tshepo Lefele, also from South Africa, in the sixth round of a title eliminator.
"After the unfortunate end to the first fight, there is clearly some unfinished business," Milenkovic said.
He is confident of completing a hat-trick of successful IBF title defences by SA boxers under his banner when Joyi eventually faces Takayama.
Moruti Mthalane and Takalane Ndlovu retained their IBF flyweight and IBF junior featherweight titles last week.
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