Buthelezi poised for ti­tle de­fence in Fe­bru­ary

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Gideon “Hard­core” Buthelezi says the glory of win­ning the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion su­per fly­weight ti­tle last month has sunk in and he is now look­ing for­ward to de­fend­ing his crown.

The 29-year-old fighter from Boipa­tong in Vereenig­ing, Gaut­eng, gained in­stant fame by beat­ing Mdantsane’s home­spun hero Maka­zole Tete in front of a par­ti­san crowd at the Ori­ent The­atre in East Lon­don to win the crown.

Be­fore the bout, no one ring­side gave Buthelezi much of a chance of go­ing the dis­tance against Tete, who shared top billing with his more ac­com­plished younger brother Zolani “Last Born” Tete, who was co-pro­mot­ing the tour­na­ment through his newly cre­ated pro­mo­tions com­pany – aptly named Last Born Pro­mo­tions – with Xaba Pro­mo­tions and Events.

But de­spite the pres­ence of his en­tire fam­ily who had come to spur him on, Maka­zole had noth­ing to of­fer against a slick Buthelezi, who taught him a box­ing les­son from the first to the last gong.

No fighter goes to the East­ern Cape and beats a lo­cal boxer there to win a crown, but a di­shev­elled Tete did not know what hit him on the night – much to the be­muse­ment of his faith­ful supporters. Buthelezi is now poised for his next fight. “I have been promised a ti­tle de­fence against an op­po­nent yet to be an­nounced – some­time in Fe­bru­ary,” he said.

“I have been ex­tremely busy at the gym fo­cus­ing on my punch­ing power.”

Buthelezi is a pugilist gifted with clever move­ment in the ring, while be­ing able to con­nect ex­plo­sive shots with pre­ci­sion.

“My aim is to make three de­fences and then chal­lenge the Puerto Ri­can McJoe Ar­royo for the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion crown soon.”

Ar­royo won the cham­pi­onship that was pre­vi­ously held by Zolani Tete af­ter the lat­ter was stripped of the crown when it went to purse bids in Au­gust. Buthelezi feels he will be too strong for Ar­royo. “I have seen him in ac­tion on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, and be­lieve I can de­throne him. “I am ready for him any time,” said Buthelezi. Be­fore his match-up with Tete, Buthelezi had scored a points vic­tory against Doc­tor Nt­sele for the va­cant World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Pan African su­per fly­weight ti­tle at Bloem­fontein’s Pa­cofs Arena in Oc­to­ber.

PHOTO: DUIF DU TOIT / GALLO IM­AGES

PACK­ING A PUNCH Gideon Buthelezi in ac­tion against Filipino Edrin Da­pudong in 2012

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