Vetyeka and Budler top Class of 2013
Simpiwe Vetyeka, Hekkie Budler and Zolani Tete were the top achievers in SA professional boxing in 2013.
Even though the sport in South Africa endured another disappointing year, the promoters managed to stage 31 national title bouts and 16 South Africans fought in “world” title fights.
In six of the 17 divisions there was only one title fight and the standard in some championship bouts was poor.
South Africans won 9 “world” title fights but only one was presented by one of the leading organisations, namely the WBA. The others were for titles offered by minor organisations such as the IBO and WBF.
At the end of the year, eight South Africans held belts awarded by one of the “world” organisations.
They were Tommy Oosthuizen (IBO super-middleweight), Chris van Heerden (IBO welterweight), Hekkie Budler (IBO strawweight), Thabo Sonjica (IBO junior featherweight), Moruti Mthalane (IBF flyweight), Zolani Marali (WBF junior welterweight), Danie Venter (WBF cruiserweight) and Simphiwe Vetyeka, unquestionably the leading SA boxer and WBA and IBO featherweight champion.
Budler was the most active champion, making three successful defences of his IBO belt and claiming the WBA interim minimumweight title. He came of age in retaining his belt against Renan Trongco, Nkosinathi Joyi and Hugo Verchelli.
Among the landmark bouts for SA boxers in 2013 were:
In June, Hekkie Budler outpointed, against the odds, the highly regarded former IBF mini-flyweight champion Nkosinathi Joyi who suffered only his second loss in 27 fights.
In November, Zolani Tete knocked out former IBF junior bantamweight Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr of Mexico in an IBF title eliminator.
The outstanding performance of the year came from Simphiwe Vetyeka, who stopped previously unbeaten Indonesian Chris John in the sixth round to win the WBA “super” featherweight belt in December.
Vetyeka became the first South African to be recognised as a WBA super champion. In April, he
knocked out another Indonesian, Daud Cino Yordan, to claim the IBO featherweight belt.
Sadly, Moruti Mthalane, probably the best SA fighter, pound for pound, had no fights in 2013.
Thanks to SuperSport, fans in Africa were able to watch live television coverage of SA tournaments throughout 2013.
SuperBoxing complemented the TV coverage with breaking news, background articles and fight reports that appeared on the website within minutes after most big fights.
SuperBoxing’s best and worst of SA boxing in 2013.
Boxers of the Year: Simphiwe Vetyeka and Hekkie Budler.
Fight of the Year: Hekkie Budler’s points victory close over Nkosinathi Joyi to retain his IBO strawweight title.
Prospect of the Year: Keven Lerena, a junior heavyweight, and Xolani Mcotheli, a junior lightweight.
Trainer of the Year: Boy Boy Mpulampula, who did sterling work in the Eastern Cape, and Vuyani Bungu, who took Siphiwe Vetyeka to his second “world” title.
Special mention must also be made of Colin Nathan, who guided a maturing Hekkie Budler to three successful title defences in 2013.
Promoter of the Year: Rodney Berman and Mzimasi Mnguni. The latter kept boxing thriving in the Eastern Cape.
Punch of the Year: The straight left from southpaw Zolani Tete that knocked out Mexican Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr in the tenth round of their IBF junior bantamweight title eliminator.
Mismatch of the Year: Light-heavyweight Ryno Liebenberg’s first-round wipe-out of Daniel Adotey Allotey from Ghana at Emperors Palace in November and Anton Nel’s sixth-round stoppage of five-fight novice Sibusiso Sibiya.
Worst Decision of the Year: Siphosetu Mvula’s points victory over Unathi Gqoma when he claimed the vacant SA bantamweight title in November.
Saddest Sight of the year: The SA heavyweight title fight in Bloemfontein on October 5. In a contest between two fighters well past their best, 45-year-old old Anton Nel stopped Hein van Bosch to claim the vacant title.
Upset of the Year: Zolani Tete’s knockout win over Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr and Siphiwe Vetyeka’s stoppage win over Indonesian legend Chris John.
Results of all SA title fights in 2013
October 5 – Anton Nel W tko 8 Hein van Bosch, Bloemfontein.
December 13 – Anton Nel W tko 6 Sibusiso Sibiya, Nigel.
June 2 – Daniel Bruwer W tko 11 Fikile Nyalunga, Soweto.
August 31 – Johnny Muller W tko 11 Tshepgang Mohale, Kempton Park.
November 26 – Johnny Muller W tko 2 Vhonani Netshidamboni, Kempton Park.
March 16 – Balemo Weliya W pts 12 Charles Oosthuizen, Alice.
September 21 – Balemo Weliya W pts 12 Masixole Botile, Mdantsane.
October 13 – Christopher Buthelezi W pts 12 Makhosonke Zwengu, Mdantsane.
March 16 – Nkululeko Mhlongo W tko 3 Yanga Phetani, Alice.
Sep 29 – Nkululeko Mhlongo W tko 6 Tebego Malose, Johannesburg.
September 29 – Tsiko Mulovhedzi W pts 12 Nthuthuko Memela, Johannesburg.
April 7 – Mzolisi Yoyo W tko 7 Thapelo Potwana, East London.
June 16 – Mzolisi Yoyo W tko 2 Luyanda Jako, East London.
March 23 – Patrick Malinga drew with Thompson Mokwana, Brakpan.
September 13 – Thompson Mokwana W ko 11 Patrick Malinga, East London.
December 13 – Thompsom Mokwana W tko 7 Irvin Buhlalu, Mdantsane.
April 28 – Xolisani Ndongeni W pts 12 Godfrey Nzimande, East London.
September 15 – Xolisani Ndongeni W pts 12 Themba Tshicila, East London.
March 17 – Aphiwe Mboyiya W pts 12 Lucky Kwaza, Mdantsane.
December 13 – Lusanda Komanisi W tko 6 Aphiwe Mboyiya.
March 17 – Thabo Sonjica W pts 12 Macbute Sinyabi, Mdantsane.
September 21 – Siviwe Hasheni W ko 7 Lwandile Gugushe, Mdantsane.
May 31 – Toto Helebe W pts 12 Klaas Mboyane, Cape Town.
November 3 – Siphosethu Mvula W pts 12 Unathi Gqoma, East London.
April 7 – Lwandile Sityatha W pts 12 Jackson Chauke, East London.
October 20 – Lwandile Sityatha drew with Morris Lento, East London.
February 24 – Bongani Silila W tko 9 Luzuko Siyo, East London.
June 1 – Bongani Silila W tko 4 Loyiso Dayimani, Cathcart.
October 27 – Mfundo Gwayana W technical decision 5 Bongani Sililila, King William’s Town.
December 16 – Thabiso Moorosi W ko 4 Mfundo Gwayana, Mdantsane.
July 28 – Simphiwe Khonco W pts 12 Nkwanka, Mthahtha.
SA boxers in “world” title fights 2013
February 16 – Hekkie Budler W pts 12 Renan Trongco (Philippines), Kempton Park (IBO strawweight title).
March 2 – Chris van Heerden W pts 12 Matthew Hatton (England), Sandton (IBO welterweight title).
April 14 – Simphiwe Vetyeka W tko 12 Daud Cino Yordan (Indonesia), Jakarta (IBO featherweight title).
May 16 – Malcolm Klassen L pts 12 Will Tomlinson (Australia), Melbourne (IBO junior lightweight ).
June 16 – Gideon Buthelezi L tko 1 Edrin Dapudong (Philippines), Kempton Park (IBO junior bantamweight title).
June 16 – Hekkie Budler W pts 12 Nkosinathi Joyi (South Africa), Kempton Park (IBO strawweight title).
June 29 – Evans Mbamba drew with Mario Briones (Mexico), Secunda (vacant WBF junior featherweight title).
July 6 – Thabo Sonjica W tko 6 Sylvester Lopez (Philippines), East London (vacant IBO junior featherweight title).
September 15 – Zolani Marali W pts 12 Mzolisi Yoyo (South Africa), East London (WBF junior welterweight title).
September 20 –Danie Venter W tko 1 Shawn Cox (Barbados), Pretoria (WBF cruiserweight title).
October 9 –Tommy Oosthuizen W pts 12 Ezequiel Maderna (Argentina), Kempton Park (IBO super-middleweight title).
October 9 – Hekkie Budler W tko 4 Hugo Verchelli (Argentina), Kempton Park (IBO strawweight and WBA interim minimumweight title).
December 6 – Sipho Taliwe L pts 12 Daud Cino Yordan (Indonesia), Perth (IBO lightweight title).
December 6 – Simphiwe Vetyeka W tko 6 Chris John (Indonesia), Perth (WBA “super” featherweight title).
December 21 – Vusi Malinga L pts 12 Stuart Hal (England), Leeds (vacant IBF bantamweight title).
December 21 – Jeffrey Mathebula L tko 9 Kiko Martinez (Spain), Alicante (IBF junior featherweight title).
Among the former boxers who died during the year were heavyweight contender Johnny du Plooy, welterweight Blackie Zwarts, light-heavyweight champion Happy Pieterse, triple SA champion Enoch “Schoolboy” Nhlapo, Dawie du Preez , SA light-heavyweight champion, featherweight Zukile Filana, SA junior featherweight and featherweight champion Stanford Ngcebeshe, Joe Horn , a welterweight and ring official, middleweight Alex Dekker, and four-time “world” champion Baby Jake Matlala.
Former Springbok Ricky Knoesen, one of South Africa’s finest amateurs, died at the age of 70 shortly before the end of the year.
Leslie Whiteboy, trainer and manager of the Whiteboy family, and Jabu Malinga, who trained and managed his boxing sons, also passed away.