Buthelezi, Vetyeka punch into WBC title shots

2011-09-10 17:57

Two South African fighters – junior flyweight Gideon Buthelezi and super bantamweight Simphiwe Vetyeka – are in line for a crack in the most prestigious body, the World Boxing Council (WBC).

The fighters are stablemates who are trained by Elias ­Tshabalala.

Buthelezi, a dual International Boxing Organisation champion, challenges Mexican Adrian ­Hernandez in the champion’s backyard on September 24.

Vetyeka has been authorised to challenge Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka on a date still to be set.

Vetyeka earned the right to challenge Nishioka when he beat Mexican Giovani Caro in an official eliminator in Mexico two months ago.

The WBC crowns stand ­between the two men and the pride of South Africa.

Why?

They desperately need to feed the hunger of South Africa ­because a lot is at stake.
Only two locals – Thulani “Sugarboy” Malinga and ­Dingaan “The Rose” Thobela have managed to wear the ­slippery WBC crown.

Should the duo emulate ­Malinga and Thobela by seizing the titles, they would have made it less agonising for Mzansi.

Asked why the organisation was the best, WBC’s medical adviser Dr Peter Ngatane said his organisation “strictly rated top fighters, focusing ­exclusively on the best.”

Malinga, an awkward and difficult-to-nail veteran, stands out, having won the WBC­
title?twice. He caused one of the major upsets when he took the crown from hard-hitting Nigel Benn.
Malinga lost the title in his first defence against Vincenzo Nardiello.

He regained the title from Robin Reid but went on to lose the crown in his first defence against Richie Woodhall. After being dismissed as an “overweight, hopeless has-been,” at 36, Thobela rewrote South African boxing history.

The three-time world champion achieved this by knocking out Englishman Glenn Catley in the last round.

Trailing on points, the South African suddenly pulled off the near impossible.

Tshabalala said he was ­optimistic that his fighters would become South Africa’s third and fourth WBC holders.

“My men are ready to seize the titles in their opponents’ homes,” said Tshabalala.
Thobela confidently agreed with Tshabalala.

“Asked why the WBC titles eluded his compatriots, Thobela said the organisation “had the most competitive fighters who belonged to an elite group”.

However, he pointed out that Vetyeka and Buthelezi have the potential to become champions.

Nishioka, according to Golden Gloves Promotions’ publicist Brian Mitchell, is not immediately obliged to defend against Vetyeka. But Vetyeka, a former International Boxing Organisation (IBO) champion is certainly in line to contest for the WBC crown in the near future.

The manner in which he beat the number one ranked Caro suggested that he could ­ultimately bring the third, or is it fourth, WBC title home.

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