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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Injured Italian boxer misses bout

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

Flyweight titleholder Moruti Mthalane's title defense against mandatory challenger Silvio Olteanu has been called off.

Mthalane, of South Africa, was supposed to face Italy's Olteanu on Saturday in Leipzig, Germany, in the co-feature of the card headlined by super middleweight titleholder Robert Stieglitz's defense against Isaac Ekpo. However, according to SES Promotions, which won a purse bid to stage the fight, Olteanu (14-6-1, 6 KOs), the 35-year-old European champion, withdrew this week because of an unspecified hand injury.

Mthalane (29-2, 20 KOs), 31, was supposed to make his fifth defense against Olteanu. The fight is unlikely to be rescheduled with Mthalane eventually facing the next appointed mandatory challenger.

Mthalane had turned down a $50,000 offer from South African promoter Branco Milenkovic, hoping the bout would go for more at a purse bid. However, there was only one bidder at the auction, SES Promotions, which bid just $12,500. Mthalane, as the titleholder, was due to receive 85 percent of the winning bid ($10,625) with Olteanu getting a stunningly small purse of $1,875, an amount similar to what a prospect typically would earn in a four-round fight. Some suspect that Olteanu, who lost a split decision in his only world title shot (to Daiki Kameda in Japan in 2010), withdrew from the bout because the purse was so small.

In facing Nigeria's Ekpo (22-1, 16 KOs), Stieglitz (45-3, 26 KOs), of Germany, will be making his second defense since regaining the title by fourth-round knockout of Arthur Abraham in their March rematch.

Also on the card, heavyweight Manuel Charr (24-1, 14 KOs), who is from Lebanon but lives in Germany, will face Denis Bakhtov (36-8, 24 KOs), a native of Kazakhstan living in Russia, in a scheduled 12-round bout. Charr is seeking his fourth consecutive victory since being stopped on a cut in the fourth round of a world title fight against Vitali Klitschko in August 2012.

In another undercard bout, former welterweight titlist Jan Zaveck (32-3, 18 KOs) is scheduled to face Sebastien Allais (15-7-4, 5 KOs) of France in an eight-round bout. The fight will be Zaveck's first since losing a lopsided 12-round decision to American Keith Thurman in March in New York.