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Simphiwe Vetyeka is SA’s 120th world champion

By Ron Jackson
Photo: Jeff Pamungkas

Simphiwe Vetyeka joined a select group of SA boxers when he won the IBO featherweight title at the weekend. By stopping Daud Cino Yordan in the final round of their fight in Jakarta, Indonesia, Vetyeka became one of those who won more than one “world” title. A total of 71 South Africans have now won 120 “world” titles, including 36 IBO belts. Vetyeka won his second IBO title when he took over Yordan’s title. He knocked the champion down in the last round. Yordan beat the count but soon afterwards the referee stopped the fight when the Indonesian was being battered and not fighting back. There was only 48 seconds left when the 12-round bout was stopped.

Vetyeka has had a rather stop-start career, often showing extraordinary talent but disappearing off the radar from time to time.

He was born in Mdantsane near East London on December 24 1980. He made his professional debut in January 2002 and won his first ten bouts in style before beating the experienced Khulie Makeba in February 2005 to claim the SA bantamweight title.

He retained the belt in defenses against Luthando Maqolo (tko 7), Sakhumzi Bongwana (tko 7), Wendy MacKenzie (tko 8), Siyabonga Nyanga (points 12) and Sakhumzi Bongwana (tko 4).

In May 2007 Vetyeka challenged Hozumi Hasegawa in Tokyo for the WBC bantamweight title. He put up a creditable performance but lost on points – 116-112 on two cards and 115-113.

He then defended his SA title against Ebenezer Tumane, Lubabalo Msutu, Nkqubela Gwazela and Nkosinathi Tshinhave, beating them all.

His breakthrough came on July 11 in 2009 when he outscored the experienced Eric Barcelona at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park to win the vacant IBO bantamweight belt.

However, he never defended the title and had only two fights in the next two years, beating Roberto Leyva and Giovanni Caro and picking up the WBC international super-bantamweight title.

Last year he lost to Klaas Mboyane and stopped Sibusio Khumalo in low-key performances. At the age of 32 he seemed to be approaching the end of career.

But under the guidance of trainer Nick Durandt he got back into tiptop condition and was offered a chance to meet Yordan, a veteran with a record of 30-3, including 23 short-cut wins.

It was only the sixth fight in the past four years for Vetyeka, who improved his record to 25-2, 14 KOs and is likely to be kept much busier from now on.

Durandt upset over misinformation from Jakarta

Nick Durandt was highly upset about reports coming out of Jakarta that his fighter was behind before the stoppage in the twelfth round. According to Nick and Boxrec, judges Adam Height and Cherdchaichanon Sricharat had Vetyeka ahead 107-102 and judge Steve Marshall had him in front 108-101 going into the last round.

Durandt went on further to say that they now want a unification match with Chris John and he is confident that Vetyeka can win the fight against the ageing Indonesian.




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