Buthelezi poised for title defence in February
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.
PACKING A PUNCH Gideon Buthelezi in action against Filipino Edrin Dapudong in 2012