Lovemore wins the battle of the two Ndous
(by Hosea Ramphekwa - int.iol.co.za)
07/13/2009 - After outboxing Phillip Ndou to win the IBO welterweight title, champion Lovemore Ndou fired a salvo at his probable next opponent, Mathew Hatton.
Lovemore, who beat his namesake Phillip before a sellout crowd at Emperors Palace on Saturday night, jumped at the opportunity to send out a message to Hatton, the younger brother of world champion Ricky Hatton. Hatton's promoter, Gareth Williams, was in attendance when Lovemore outpointed Phillip in an enthralling fight with the judges scoring the bout 116-112, 115-113 and 117-111.
"I am really excited about facing Hatton. But for now I would leave that to my promoter Rodney Berman to handle things. If the fight happens in Manchester I want to go there and I won't be bothered. Look, Hatton is a great prospect but he is not in my league," Lovemore said in front of Williams.
Plans are at an advanced stage for Lovemore to fight Hatton later in 2009. Williams and Berman are expected to agree terms soon.
Ndou's confidence was not surprising after the Australian-based South African had just beaten highly rated Phillip. The 37-year-old put on a great show dominating the better part of the fight as the Phillip ran out of steam.
Lovemore, a former IBF junior welterweight champion, was elated.
"I am happy because I accomplished one of my dreams which was to be a two-time world champion. I also wanted to come back here and win.
But I must take my hat off for Phillip for giving me a tough fight especially after such a long time without fighting. Before the fight, his manager promised to give him a bonus and I think he deserves a bonus even though he lost," said Lovemore.
Phillip's manager Butityi Konki confirmed his 32-year-old boxer would receive it.
Phillip, who is himself a former World champion, said he was happy with his performance.
"I gave my best and I thought I was going to catch him. I also proved that I am not finished yet. I still have a lot to offer and I want to achieve a lot and bring titles to South Africa.
"It's not an excuse but it's been four years out the ring and for me, to come back and fight like this was great," said Phillip.
On the same bill, Simphiwe Vetyeka was crowned IBO bantamweight champion after beating Filipino Eric Barcelona on points.