Bam looks to resurrect his career at Dzudzu’s cost

Plenty of intrigue for Sunday’s featherweight clash in East London

Sinethemba Bam smashes a left into the side of Phila Gola’s retreating head during an earlier fight in his career.
Sinethemba Bam smashes a left into the side of Phila Gola’s retreating head during an earlier fight in his career.

The last time Sinethemba Bam was in a memorable fight was when he was upset by the underdog Lerato Dlamini, who knocked him out to surrender the IBF Youth junior-featherweight title.

The fight in April last year led to divergent roads for both boxers. It suddenly introduced Dlamini to the big league which he grabbed with both hands by beating the veteran Simpiwe Vetyeka afterwards.But it also derailed Bam’s career, which at that point seemed headed for the summit.

Dlamini is now a well- known boxer who has parlayed the win to bigger things including clinching the WBC international junior-featherweight crown with a debatable win over veteran Sydney Maluleke.

Bam, on the other hand, has been reduced to fighting in the obscure environment of Cape Town against less illustrious oppenents to regain his confidence.

Since the loss Bam has won two bouts, beating perennial loser Simo Mbande and Simthembele Luzipho. But on Sunday Bam will return to the Orient Theatre, which used to be his happy hunting ground, when he faces Mdantsane veteran Siviwe “Dzudzu” Hasheni in a featherweight scrap. Both boxers have plenty to prove.

The left-hander was an SA junior-featherweight champion until he was dethroned by Bongani Mahlangu who has since surrendered the crown to Ludumo Lamati.

Hasheni was upset by Asiphe Tshili in the subsequent fight. He returns in a make-or- break fight against an equally hungry Bam who still believes he is still destined for big things. “Both boxers are hungry and we should expect an explosive encounter,” said fight promoter Macbute Sinyabi.The loss by Bam to Dlamini did more damage than initially thought as the IBF youth title he held was scheduled to pave the way to international stardom.

Whether he likes it or not, Dlamini’s career is the one headed for big things underlining how a single bout can either make or break a boxer.

One would even argue that beating Hasheni will still fall short of returning Bam to his former status as a star in the making. But a win will put Bam in an favourable position to contest for the soon-to-be vacant SA featherweight title when current belt holder Azinga Fuzile finally makes his relinquishment official.

Fuzile is said to be moving up to the junior-lightweights, with his vacating of the featherweight crown expected at any moment.

Hasheni has since joined the famed Eyethu Boxing Club where chief trainer Ncedo Cecane has been enjoying a good run. With an excellent record at reviving fighters’ careers, Cecane, who like Hasheni, was a southpaw in his fighting days, may just be what the doctor ordered to resurrect the forgotten champion.

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