We'd been hearing rumours for a while that "Filipino Flash" Nonito Donaire (32-2, 31), pictured, was set to fight South Africa's Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-2, 16). It now seems that that bout is all but set.
Vetyeka, currently the WBA Featherweight super champion following his shock victory over Chris John, has been messed about a fair bit since winning his title. First he thought he'd be fighting Jamaica's unbeaten Nicholas Walters, then it was announced that he'd be fighting Akifumi Shimoda before the WBA quashed that fight.
The WBA, who denied Shimoda an opportunity and demanded that Vetyeka fought Walters, appear to have done a 180 to allow Donaire an opportunity to fight the South African.
For Donaire, a former 4-weight world champion, this will be a big opportunity to become a 5 weight world champion however Vetyeka is no mug. He's tough, intelligent, hits hard and is the sort of fighter who could give Donaire fits if he's on form. With Donaire putting in poor back-to-back performances in recent bouts he will really need to find his old form to have any chance against Vetyeka who is on a great run in recent.
The speculated date for this bout is May 31st with Macau the venue. There is a very big chance that this card will also see Zou Shiming fighting in a 10 rounder as long as he gets past Yokthong Kokietgym on "Ring of Gold" this coming Saturday.
(Picture courtesy of boxrec.com)
We are currently lead to believe that the front runner for Simpiwe Vetyeka's first WBA Featherweight super title defense will be Japan's former world champion Akifumi Shimoda.
Vetyeka (26-2, 16) who recently dethroned the long reigning champion Chris John, was expected to be forced into a fight with Jamaica's Nicholas Walters in early 2014. Instead however it appears that Walters's promoter, Bob Arum, has managed to find some wiggle room and will instead get Vetyeka a fight with Shimoda (28-3-2, 12).
This bout is likely to help bring over Japanese gamblers to the Venetian Casino in Macau. With their money it's likely the Casino can recoup some more of the money they are spending on the shows as Arum continues to develop his growing Eastern influence.
The bout, which has been added to the "Ring of Gold" card in Macau on February 22nd, is thought to be the final big addition to a card that already features a world title fight in the form of Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13) Denis Shafikov (33-0-1, 18) for the IBF Lightweight title.
The first men announced for the card were Olympic gold medal winners Zou Shiming (3-0), Ryota Murata (2-0, 2) and Egor Mekhontsev (1-0, 1). There is also a lot of rumours that we will see several of ALA's top prospects on show as Arum attempts to showcase some of the most promising talent in Asia.
Rumour also has it that the bouts will be televised across the world with HBO2 carrying it in the US, Boxnation in the UK and CCTV 5 in China. We also expect Fuji TV to carry Murata's bout in Japan.
We're hoping that this fight does turn out to be the next one for both Vetyeka and Shimoda though it will take the WBA to be flexible for us to see it.
With less than a week to go it seems that the Chris John/Simpiwe Vetyeka fight has suddenly hit a few snags. We, as really big fans of the fight, are hoping that the fight will go on, but there are certainly issues surrounding it at the moment.
The first issue has been that of sponsorship. Golden Eagle Coffee (pictured above) have apparently pulled out of the fight due to tensions between Australia and Indonesia. This all started with Australia apparently spying on Indonesia and from then the issues have escalated to the Australian flag being burnt in Indonesia.
Thankfully it appears that even with out Golden Eagle's funding the fight would be fine with Dragon Fire Promotions apparently taking the financial hit if a new sponsor cannot be found.
The second issue however could be more troublesome. This issue sees Lovemore Ndou attempting to get an injunction against the fight claiming that he was the manager of Vetyeka and that he hadn't consented to the fight. We're unsure if Ndou is trying a power play to take some of Vetyeka's purse, or if he seriously would stand in the way of the fight. If he gets the injunction however then the fight will be off.
We're expecting this issue to be settled out of court and the fight to go ahead as planned, though it is a headache for Dragon Fire Promotions and of course the two fighters.
Chris John back in action
Unbeaten Indonesian boxer Chris "The Dragon" John has announced the next defense of his WBA Featherweight super title.
The long reigning champion, who sports an exceptional record of 48-0-3 (22), will return to Australia for his third fight "down under". His opponent with be South African Simpiwe "V12" Vetyeka, a man best known to Asian fans for his victory over John's compatriot Daud Cino Yordan.
Although Vetyeka's record of 25-2 (15) has got two losses on it, he is widely regarded as a genuinely quality fighter. In fact his two most notable bouts, which both came against Asian fights, saw him showing world class ability as he defeated Yordan and pushed Hozumi Hasegawa very close in Japan.
The bout, scheduled for December 6th is to be fought in Perth, Australia and will of course be shown by RCTI (who do stream internationally). Interestingly this will be the first fight for either man since they shared a card in April. A show in which Vetyeka beat Yordan and John had a 3 round technical draw with hard hitting Japanese fighter Satoshi Hosono.
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