Johannesburg - Simpiwe V12 Vetyeka’s trainer Boy Boy Mpulampula claims he has been sidelined from manning the corner of his charge in an upcoming bout against Hungarian boxer David Berna.
Vetyeka, the former World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champion, is billed to make his debut under Irish manager Gary Hyde against Berna in the featherweight class at Complexe Sportif Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco on Saturday.
This will be Vetyeka’s (36) first bout under Hyde since the Duncan Village, East London-born fighter parted ways with Sijuta Promotions.
Holds no grudge
Mpulampula said it appeared that he would not be shouting instructions for V12 during the fight as he would be in South Africa.
“When Vetyeka left for the UK last month to train for this fight, I was promised that I would join him at a later stage as part of the technical team after my plane ticket had been sorted,” said Mpulampula.
“The fight is days away now and I have not heard anything yet from the manager regarding the ticket to join the camp. I feel sidelined because it’s late already and there is no way I can be with Vetyeka now.”
However, Mpulampula said he holds no grudge for not being able to be at the bout.
“I don’t know who will be Simpiwe’s mentor for the fight. I think I’ve played my part by moulding his boxing career. He’s old enough to look after himself.”
Mpulampula was instrumental in the match when V12 shocked all and sundry with a sixth-round stoppage of Indonesian Chris John to snatch the WBA featherweight championship at Metro City in Northbridge, Australia in 2013.
Vetyeka later surrendered his belt to Nonito Donaire of the Philippines by a controversial technical decision at Cotai Arena, China, in 2014. The quickness of both boxers led to three accidental head-butts in the first three rounds. At the end of the third round, Nonito had had enough, but was able to proceed with the bout until the fourth round with a closed left eye. This, according to WBA rules, led to the fight being called a technical decision and Nonito won by 49-46 points from all three judges.
With a boxing career spanning 29 wins and three losses in 32 professional bouts, Vetyeka is now past his prime. He has not thrown a punch competitively for 10 months – he beat Japan’s Tsuyoshi Tameda by a unanimous points decision at the Orient Theatre in East London in April.
In Berna, Vetyeka will face a 26-year-old foe who boasts the record of eight unbeaten fights.
Several attempts to reach Vetyeka and Hyde for comment were unsuccessful as they did not answer on the numbers provided by Mpulampula.