Sivenathi Nontshinga Open To Sunny Edwards Fight In UK, After Mandatory Against Christian Araneta

IBF light flyweight champion Sivenathi Nontshinga has welcomed a fight with former flyweight belt holder Sunny Edwards.

Edwards was quick to praise Nontshinga following a world title victory over Adrian Curiel last month, offering a polite call-out with a view to moving down a weight class. Both men’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, added that Edwards Vs “Nontshinga is a big fight and is definitely one we could look to make in the summer.”

“Sunny is a good boxer,” Nontshinga said exclusively to boxingscene.com. “I won’t say too much about him, but if it does happen, then let it be. Let’s get inside the squared circle. What I want to find out is, is how will I do against the best in the world, that’s what will make me the best. So if Sunny Edwards wants to fight Nontshinga, then that will be a great fight, we both have the style of today.

“He’s a former champ and wants to become a two-weight world champion. I’m also a two-time world champion, so why not. If that’s what Eddie Hearn and the boxing fraternity wants? Then, let’s do it, baby. I would be damn happy to come to the UK for the fight. I’m the sort of person who loves to go into an opponent’s backyard and snatch a title or snatch a big victory.”

Nontshinga reclaimed his 108 pound crown in a rematch with Curiel last month in Mexico. The South African star scored a tenth round stoppage having previously succumbed to a shock second round knockout loss in Monaco last November.

“It was devastating, I trained so hard for three months to lose like that,” Nontshinga said regarding his defeat to Curiel. “We got back to the changing room after the fight and I got to my senses, I realized that I’m a fighter and it is bound to happen. It was my first loss, the last time I lost was as an amateur in 2012 or 2013. I’m glad it happened in some type of way, because it showed me the mistakes I needed to correct. It showed me that people will come to try to take your dream away from you. The main thing is to never be casual in front of your opponent, You have to remain cautious and vigilant all the time.

“At the end of the day we got the rematch and went to Mexico and gave them a great show. All I can say is that the Mexican fans are great people, I have so much respect for them. They welcomed me again with warm hearts and open arms. Everyone was taking pictures of me over there.”

Nontshinga (13-1, 10 KOs) was making his second appearance in Mexico. The first came when he claimed the world title in a closely fought split-decision win over Hector Flores Calixto on September 9, 2022.

“I fought a true warrior and the fight became IBF Fight of the Year,” Nontshinga continued. “I had a lot of love while I was there again this time. I have to give credit to Colin Nathan and my team, everyone who was involved in me being that version of myself in the rematch. I didn’t have much rest in-between, everybody was having a nice rest with their families over December, but I was training. We didn’t change a lot in the camp, we knew he was going to come with fire and the same attitude. We were no longer going to move away from him, we were going to take the fight to him. Make him punch the guard, and then punish him. We had great body shots and the over-the-top right hand.

“I wasn’t nervous at all. I just loved the fact that I was fighting in such a great place, a great arena with 10,000 people in attendance. I loved every second of it, I was headlining a big promotion, the biggest fight that weekend. For me, it was a dream come true. I remember walking to the ring and seeing a whole lot of people and thinking that this was a serious fight.”

Nontshinga regained his championship status as the light flyweight division continues to gain recognition as one of boxing’s most exciting and competitive weight classes. The explosion of Japanese boxing in the west adds another layer of prosperity, armed with broadcaster ESPN+.

“We all want to be stars and leave a mark on boxing’s history,” Nontshinga explained. “We all want to create a legacy for ourselves. My aim has always been to unify the division. I believe with what I’ve done now that I will be good enough to become a unified world champion.

“I want to spread my wings bro. Kenshiro Teraji is a great fighter, he is the top guy in the division now with two belts. I want to fight guys like him, I need to challenge myself at the highest level. I want the whole boxing world to know me. The young South African from East London who came took over at 108 pounds. That’s what I want to do brother, I want to be in the Hall of Fame. Teraji is a good boxer, he has great experience, but when we are in the ring it will be just me and him, I want all of those belts of his. I feel that it is all coming together. The dream feels like it is really coming true. I feel so blessed, but I do make sure that I stay humble.”

Despite the attractive prospect of facing some of the greatest fighters on the planet, Nontshinga has a mandatory obligation to give Filipino Christian Araneta a shot at his IBF title by May 4.

“I fought him before in an elimination for the IBF title,” Nonthsiga added. “Christian Araneta is a good boxer, but this is my time. All I can do is stay in the camp and work hard. Whoever they put in front of me, I’ll bulldoze them and take them on. If I have to face Araneta for a mandatory defense, then let it be bro.”