EL boxer claims IBO title
07/13/2009 - EAST London boxer Simphiwe Vetyeka weathered a Philippines whirlwind in the shape of pocket dynamo Eric Barcelona to claim the vacant IBO bantamweight boxing title with a unanimous points victory at a jam- packed Emperors Palace on Saturday.
The outcome was never in doubt in view of the Duncan Village fighter’s considerable advantage in weight, height and reach, with the judges giving the South African a 118-114, 118-110 and 117-111.
But while the durable Barcelona was without a sling shot to worry Vetyeka with his endless stream of relatively powder-puff punches, the Philippines fighter’ earned rousing applause from the enthusiastic crowd after the final bell for his whole-hearted, never- say-die performance.
But, in truth, it looked as though there were two weight divisions difference between the fighters and the horse racing handicap system was needed to make this a valid contest between two opponents at any level – let alone one that bore a dubious world title label.
But from an entertainment point of view the crowd got their money’s worth – even though the only time the fighters hit the canvas in turn at regular intervals was either through being wrestled to the ground or losing their footing on the slippery surface.
And even industrious Puerto Rican referee Roberto Ramirez found it difficult to stay on his feet on what appeared at times a boxing ice rink and he also tumbled to the ground on one occasion.
“I thought the little Philippines guy was not going to make the second round,” said one off-the-mark ringside observer.
In the main bout Lovemore Ndou’s experience saw him beat his namesake Phillip on points to win the IBO welterweight.
The veteran from Sydney won 115-113, 116-112 and 117- 111 in a fight that was his opponent’s second since coming back from illness. It showed as the fighter known as the Time Bomb fought a gutsy bout but looked like he should have at least had one more fight before meeting Lovemore.
Lovemore improved his record to 47-11, with 31 knockouts, and Phillip dropped to 32-4; 31. - Sapa