Battle-hardened South African Simpiwe Vetyeka returns to the ring on April 22nd when he takes on Japan's Tsuyoshi Tameda at the East London Orient Theatre.
Vetyeka (28-3) is well known to boxing fans around the world as an IBO champion at featherweight and super bantamweight. With notable wins over the likes of previously unbeaten Chris John, and heralded Indonesian Daud Yordan, 'V12' has high-level pedigree and experience to draw upon.
He'll look to use that experience against the 22-year-old Japanese fighter, although it will come up against the youthful aggression that his adversary brings.
The latest boxing news is coming thick and fast and this one may therefore have not had the notice it deserves, but the clash of styles between the two fighters will no doubt make for a fan-pleasing encounter.
For Tameda, this is the perfect opportunity to leapfrog up the rankings and into the spotlight, with Vetyeka likely to be starting to lose that split second worth of reaction. 'V12' comes in as the rightful favourite, but there are attributes that his opponent brings to the bout that shouldn't be taken for granted.
Tameda's pace and pressure could present several problems, as he showed in stopping Mark Bernaldez, who was 15-0 coming into their matchup. He has 11 knockouts amongst the 13 victories on his resume. We know he hasn't faced the same level of opposition, but that doesn't stop his power being something the South African will have to take notice of.
Vetyeka will try and stick to his tried and tested formula, keeping his man away with sharp shots whilst working from the outside. But the exuberance of youth can sometimes be hard to stop, especially if you're a lighter fighter reaching the tail end of your journey.
With that said, an emphatic stoppage over 21-year-old Rodolfo Puente (17-2-2) last November saw him take the WBA International featherweight title, so he's still got the ability to teach the young guns a lesson or two should they disrespect the ring technicality of the veteran. He has the ability to pick apart fighters who come forward with reckless abandon.
For as long as it lasts, you can be sure Tameda will be aiming to come forward, get inside the range and punish Vetyeka with combinations. It's never as easy as that, however, and that's precisely what makes it so likely that we'll see an exciting battle when they meet in the centre.
Fourteen years in the pro ranks meets just five. Patience and distance meets aggression and pressure. Only fight night will tell whether we'll see a change of the guard.
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