Former world champion Simpiwe Vetyeka has sounded a warning to Lusanda Komanisi to man up or shut up.
Vetyeka was reacting to news that Komanisi had withdrawn from the planned Featherweight Super Four series which will be organised by Golden Gloves Promotion (GGP) at Emperors Palace in October.
The series which has since been depleted by the withdrawal of Xaba Promotions and Events aligned boxers, including Komanisi, was conceived after Komanisi challenged big promoters to come up with it.
This followed his knockout victory over Free State boxer Thello Dithebe.
In his celebratory speech, Komanisi challenged other featherweights in the land to man up by availing themselves for the series.
“I want all the so-called top featherweight boxers to avail themselves to a Super Four series so that we can see who the best is in the land,” he said.
“Boxers such Vetyeka, Fuzile [Azinga], Munyai [Tshifhiwa] must come so that we can prove who the best featherweight is in the land.”
However, after GGP boss Rodney Berman responded to the call to pit the featherweight boxers against each other in an elimination format, Komanisi inexplicably withdrew, while Vetyeka has confirmed his participation in the series. Vetyeka reacted with surprise when informed that Komanisi had withdrawn.
“How come he is withdrawing after publicly challenging all the top featherweights – and even mentioned our names?” he asked.
“Was he simply shooting off for cheap publicity at our expense and, now, when it is time to walk the talk he chickens out?
“ I want Komanisi to be part of this series, so that we will leave no doubt as to who is the king of the featherweight division in the land. “If I win it now, people will say Komanisi was not there.”
Vetyeka who has not tasted action since April last year, when he beat tough Japanese Tsuyoshi Tameda, expressed no doubt that he will walk away with the series.
“I am over the moon for this opportunity because it will prove even to doubting Thomases that I am still the man to beat.”
The participation of Fuzile remains uncertain with the reigning SA featherweight champion said to have to yet sign the contract.
He still has a stumbling block in the form of challenger Rofhiwa Maemu in a Rumble Africa Promotions showpiece at Orient Theatre next Sunday.
His trainer Chief Njekanye said the decision on whether Fuzile would be part of the series depended on a number of other issues.
“We want to be part of this series but so far there are other issues to consider,” he said.
Berman has revealed that he has replaced Komanisi with rising star, Lerato Dlamini, whose crowning moment was his knockout defeat of the previously unbeaten Sinethemba Bam of Cape Town.
The Colin Nathan-trained boxer is being labelled as a dark horse to win the series, with Munyai having also confirmed participation.
But Vetyeka has no illusion about his chances.
“I like this challenge and I thrive on situations like these,” he added. — Boxing Mecca