Will Simphiwe Vetyeka fire on all cylinders?

2014-05-25 15:00

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The odds are stacked against World Boxing Association world featherweight superchamp Simphiwe “V12” Vetyeka as he takes on the dangerous Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire in Macau on Saturday.

First, Filipino-American Donaire has never lost against a South African ­boxer. He beat Moruti Mthalane in 2008 and edged out Jeffrey Mathebula four years later.

Second, the Eastern Cape boxer will have to contend with Puerto Rican referee Luis Pabon, who has come under fire for his handling of several fights.

Referee Pabon was criticised for his interference in the clash between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin last year.

Third, Vetyeka (33) has to convince three unpredictable men at ring side?– the judges?–?two of whom are from the US, which happens to be home to Bob Arum. He not only promotes this fight but Donaire as well.

But these adversities should not be overwhelming for the resilient ­Vetyeka, who has won two world championships in succession overseas.

Donaire, on the other hand, has not fought outside the US for more than three years.

A further boost for Vetyeka’s camp is the news that Donaire’s strength coach Nick Curson is in hospital with a virus and is likely to miss the crucial final training sessions.

However, Vetyeka, who is the only African holding a WBA super world belt, cannot rely on his opponent’s weaknesses as he needs to improve on his speed if he is to defend his title.

The Duncan Village boxer is bolstered by his highly regarded trainers, Vuyani “The Beast” Bungu and Lennox Mpulampula.

Donaire wants to redeem himself ­after he lost a unification bout to ­Guillermo Rigondeaux?–?his first in 12 years –?last year.

Donaire has a better knockout rate than his foe but V12 has not been knocked out since turning professional in 2002.

In 34 paid bouts, Donaire has won 32 (21 by KO) and lost twice.

A former SA bantamweight champion, Vetyeka’s professional record reads: 28 fights, 26 wins (16 inside the distance) and two losses.

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