‘V12’ to heed the final bell
Former world champion calls it quits after severe injuries cut short career
Former three-time world champion Simpiwe “V12” Vetyeka’s boxing career is over.
This was confirmed by the boxer in an emotional interview at a boxing tournament held at Mdantsane Indoor Centre at the weekend.
The 37-year-old suffered severe injuries after he was hit by a car on the Amalinda main road in May.
The car failed to stop and the alleged transgressor has not been arrested.
Vetyeka was a special guest for MMT promotion tournament featuring Athi Dumezweni against Lindile Tshemese in a rematch for the SA junior-bantamweight title.
The car slammed into him breaking several bones.
He spent several months in hospital.
Now walking on crutches, a more reconciliatory Vetyeka admitted that he was unlikely to box again.
“I really think my boxing career is over now because the injuries I suffered were so severe,” he said.
Asked what he would like to say to the person who hit him, Vetyeka said he had already forgiven him before the offender even asked for a forgiveness.
“I want to tell him wherever he is that I have forgiven him,” he said in a moving interview.
“He probably did not do it deliberately. Holding grudges against him will not help me to heal. I must focus on getting better so that I can see what to do next.”
Vetyeka holds the distinction of being the first ever boxer in the land to win a super title when he dethroned Indonesian legend Chris John in stunning fashion for the WBA featherweight title in 2013.
Risking his IBO title he had also won by beating John’s compatriot Daud Yordan a few months earlier, Vetyeka stunned the world by snapping John’s 52-bout unbeaten run sending the Indonesian into retirement.
The win came on top of the IBO title he had claimed in the bantamweight division.
The achievement rated as one of the best moment by a SA boxer abroad.
After going through an indifferent run which even saw him being upset by upstart Lerato Dlamini, sparking calls for him to retire, Vetyeka silenced his detractors by dominating current reigning SA lightweight champion Thompson Mokwana before knocking him out in eight rounds to breath massive life into his career.
This after he jumped from featherweight to lightweight.
Just when his new promoter Xaba Promotions was plotting a world title shot for him tragedy struck when he was hit by a passerby car.
Now he is leaving boxing in the saddest manner with his career being cut short when he still had so much to offer.
But he said he had taken it all in his stride.
“I cannot lie and say I’ m not disappointed for leaving boxing this way. But we do not control our destiny,” he said.
There have been calls for the sporting community to form a benefit fund for him but this has not yet got off the ground...