Simphiwe Vetyeka has made a startling revelation about his loss to upstart Lerato Dlamini by attributing it to using unconventional rehydrating methods.
The veteran Mdantsane boxer stunned all and sundry when he was out-hustled and out-muscled by the relative young fringe contender en route to a majority decision loss in the first leg of the Featherweight Super Four at Emperors Palace last September.
He was heavily favoured to beat the 11-fight novice and set up a money- spinning final clash against the winner of the other fight won by Duncan Village star Azinga Fuzile when he beat Tshifhiwa Munyai by a third- round knockout.
But the former WBA and two-time IBO champion looked flat and was unable to move to second gear against the determined young opponent who fought as if his life depended on the outcome.
After reviewing the fight and reflecting on what happened, Vetyeka finally opened up and revealed that he had used a drip to rehydrate to regain the weight he had lost while boiling down to make the featherweight limit.
Vetyeka first failed to fall within the required limit at the premedical of the fight and had to strip completely naked before succeeding with the final weigh-in.
He had been fighting as a featherweight for which he won the WBA and IBO crowns to add to the IBO title he won in the bantamweight.
He said he was surprised how weak he felt after pumping himself up with a drip to rehydrate. “Bottom line is as an old boxer I need to take responsibility of what happened and not try to blame someone else,” he said.
While brushing aside perceptions of a weight struggle Vetyeka said he was always squeezing himself down to the featherweight and the sacrifice had finally taken its toll.
He will now jump a division to campaign in the lightweight division.
Even if he had beaten Dlamini and qualified for the final he said he was going to move up anyway.
“I had planned to fight in the featherweight for the last time in the S4 but now my loss to Dlamini has convinced me to move north immediately,” he said.
Despite having turned 37 last month, Vetyeka insists that he still has plenty of boxing left in his body.
He admits that he may have been written off after losing to Dlamini but added “that is how I like it. In fact people think my career is over but I will prove them wrong”.
The loss to Dlamini was his fourth in 33 bouts in a career spanning 15 years, which never achieved much despite his abundance of talent.
A smart boxer, Vetyeka’s main achilles heel has always been inconsistency bordering on arrogance.
For instance he allowed himself to be beaten by Klaas Mboyane although there was no comparison between them in talent.
He gathered himself to shock Indonesian legend Chris John to win the WBA and appeared to be finally on course to realise his potential.
While he was favoured to beat Dlamini, he admits that the loss was painful to comprehend.
“I felt so bad but now I can safely say I am over it. At least I know what happened and for two weeks my body felt numb. In fact had I fought other featherweight boxers on the night I would have been knocked out.”
He says his Irish manager Gary Hyde was currently busy organising a fight for him.