Altamura pays tribute to road warrior Mthalane, hopes for Martinez unification

Mike Altamura is one of the most established and respected managers to emerge from the Oceania region in recent times.

He has been a part of countless world title fights and currently guides IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane and ex-IBF 122lbs champion TJ Doheny among others.

The incredible Mthalane, 38, is one of the giants of the smaller weights, having embarked on a 12-year unbeaten run at top level and Altamura is full of admiration for the age-defying South African.

“Moruti is a special fighter and a special human being,” Altamura told Boxing Social. “He is a joy to work with, alongside his training team headed up by Colin Nathan. They are top quality human beings, which makes the working relationship much easier.

“Moruti is the definition of a road warrior. He has travelled the world over defending his title against all-comers. Look at his last fight, he went into the backyard of a three-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi in Japan and emerged with a stoppage victory.

The incredible Mthalane most recently defended his IBF 112lbs crown with a ninth round win over Akira Yaegashi in Yokohama in December. Photo and main image: MTK Global.

“He’s defended his world title in Macao, Kuala Lumpur, Panama, Italy, Japan and, of course, his native South Africa where he has beaten a whole host of talents including current bantamweight world champion John Riel Casimero. He really stands out to me as one of the elite world champions today.

“Moruti has beaten all-comers, with his last defeat coming over a decade ago against a legend in Nonito Donaire,” added Altamura. “I want to see him unify the division, so fighters like the WBC champion Julio Cesar Martinez are the fighters that are on our radar. The Martinez fight is the fight I would personally love to see and I believe that fight would be an absolute cracker to watch.”

Alongside guiding some of world boxing’s elite talents, the fight manager has now ventured into the media world with his own podcast The Fight Game with Mike Altamura, which reveals some of boxing’s untold stories from the likes of Hector Bermudez, Joshua Clottey, Marty Jakubowski and, most recently, Andre Rozier.

“I’ve seen so many things in boxing and been around so many great people with so many stories to tell I decided to do something about it, and launch a podcast to put some of the great stories of these great people on a platform where everybody can hear them,” he said. “Helping tell the untold stories of boxing gives me great pleasure so this is really a labour of love.

“Sitting down with the likes of Hector Bermudez and hearing about his time spent behind bars before becoming a [multiple] world champion trainer is such a unique experience. Seeing the passion of a man like Andre Rozier, who embodies working class, fighting spirit and honesty, discussing the good times and bad with the likes of Daniel Jacobs is another unique experience that I have managed to compile into a podcast. 

“I travel all around the globe with my management work so my plan is to use those trips to tell the stories of people whose tales may not have been told and need telling. That is the goal of my podcast.”

Mthalane celebrates yet another win on the road. Photo: MTK Global.