Johannesburg - Former two-time world champion Simpiwe “V12” Vetyeka has changed his mind about retiring from boxing after initially deciding to hang up his gloves.
The 36-year-old veteran of 33 fights lost to novice Lerato Dlamini by a majority decision in a featherweight contest at Emperors Palace four weeks ago.
Dlamini has only 11 professional bouts under his belt.
This was one of Vetyeka’s worst showings as he was out of depth and exposed by a more polished Dlamini.
“I had told myself that I’m done with boxing after my last defeat. But I have now decided against quitting after some of my fans discouraged me from doing so,” said Vetyeka.
But the time is ripe for Vetyeka to bow out of the game of fisticuffs as he is no longer the sharp fighter who was previously on top of his game.
He is now slow and lacks the aggression that arguably made him the country’s best featherweight.
V12 is renowned for being the country’s first boxer to win the unified International Boxing Organisation featherweight and World Boxing Association super featherweight belts after stopping Indonesia’s Chris John in the sixth round in Australia in 2013.
But now his career has taken a nosedive and he is also struggling to get fights. To date, he has fought once in each of the past three years. His opponents were Colombian Rodolfo Puente who V12 knocked out in the seventh round at Selbourne Park, East London in November 2015; Japanese Tsuyoshi Tameda whom he outpointed at Orient Theatre last year and now against Dlamini last month.
Before then he fought twice in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
But Vetyeka – who is trained by Shaun Smith and managed by Irishman Gary Hyde – believes his career is still on track and hopes to win a big title in the near future.
But sound advice would be for him to do the honourable thing and leave the ring before he gets (seriously) hurt.