Vetyeka must rush to shed excess weight for big fight

POINT TO PROVE: Simphiwe Vetyeka, right, seen here with his opponent Lerato Dlamini, ahead of their Super Four clash Picture: GALLO IMAGES
POINT TO PROVE: Simphiwe Vetyeka, right, seen here with his opponent Lerato Dlamini, ahead of their Super Four clash Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Mdantsane veteran boxer Simpiwe Vetyeka is in a race against the scales ahead of tomorrow’s final weigh-in for his Featherweight Super Four (S4) clash against Lerato Dlamini scheduled to be held at Emperors Palace on Saturday.

This after Vetyeka weighed 60.95kg at the premedical of the fight midweek.

Vetyeka’s weight was described as being over the prescribed limit for the 57.15kg, which allows boxers to be at least 3% above the limit at the premedical.

Dlamini scaled 59.76kg, which was deemed to be within the limit.

After the weight check, insiders say Vetyeka grabbed a bottle of water and gulped it.

“To me he appeared to be struggling and that is not good news especially at his age,” the insider said.

Indeed, at 36 years old, Vetyeka will have a big task to shed the excess weight by tomorrow’s final weigh-in.

Even if he eventually does, the massive weight reduction may adversely affect him as it happened to another Mdantsane boxer, Lusanda Komanisi, who defiantly insisted to fight in the featherweight despite his inability to make the weight limit.

Komanisi paid dearly for the gamble when he was knocked out by unheralded Filipino Jhack Tepora in two rounds.

Now the alleged weight struggle for Vetyeka is serving as a double motivation for Dlamini, who has been predicting an upset.

“If Vetyeka is taking Dlamini lightly, he is in for the biggest shock of his life,” said Dlamini’s trainer Colin Nathan.

“We have observed other factors but we are sticking to our game plan. Dlamini is so motivated for this fight and those who are dismissing him will get a rude awakening.”

Vetyeka has not fought in 18 months since beating Japanese Tyuyoshi Tameda in April last year.

While he clearly won the fight, his face was marked badly.

Nathan said if Tameda could manage to lay hands on Vetyeka, people should imagine what Dlamini will be able to do.

In the other semifinal clash on Saturday, Azinga Fuzile will come up against Tshifhiwa Munyai in what has become a highly anticipated encounter due to the verbal warfare that erupted between the two fighters at the same premedical ceremony.

Fuzile remains the only boxer in the series to prepare for it outside Johannesburg.

This has raised concerns among local boxing fans whether he would be able to handle the altitude that often affects coastal boxers when fighting in Gauteng.

The Duncan Village star, unbeaten in eight fights, decided to go to Johannesburg and return on the same day to minimise his chances of falling prey to different climatic conditions.

Fuzile’s trainer, Mzamo Njekanye, allayed any concerns about his charge being affected by altitude.

“We will go up a day before the fight and return a day after,” he said.

“In that way the altitude will not affect us.”

Indeed, the altitude is said to be ineffective in the first four days and Fuzile’s camp wants to capitalise on that.

Fuzile came up against Munyai for the first time at the premedical, affording Njekanye an opportunity to size him up.

“I wanted to see him in person so that I can detect things in his physique and I am happy from what I have seen,” he said.

Besides the premedical barbs, Munyai has been mouthing off, even going as far as accusing Fuzile’s technical team of being not professional enough after the Duncan Village boxer suffered a hand injury in his last bout against Rhofhiwa Maemu this past July.

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