No hard feel­ings, says Byo Bomber

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Re­porter

SOUTH Africa-based Zim­bab­wean cage fighter Elvis Moyo says he has no hard feel­ings to­wards stripped for­mer Ex­treme Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship (EFC) heavy­weight cham­pion Danie van Heer­den, who likened him to an ape.

Moyo, whose ring name is “The Bu­l­awayo Bomber”, said Van Heer­den, whom he had en­gaged in a fiery war of words be­fore, promis­ing to hos­pi­talise him in their Oc­to­ber fight, took the “war of words” too far.

e two heavy­weight fight­ers were set to bat­tle it out in a bill dubbed “The big­gest stand-up bat­tle in EFC his­tory” on Oc­to­ber 15 at Sun City in Rusten­burg, South Africa, but that clash has been can­celled fol­low­ing the strip­ping of Van Heer­den’s ti­tle.

Speak­ing from his Johannesburg base, Moyo said fear made Van Heer­den post the racially charged state­ment.

He said Van Heer­den was try­ing to dis­tract him ahead of the fight.

“I think fear got the bet­ter of Van Heer­den and he ended up do­ing a stupid thing that he gen­uinely re­grets.

“I’m a fighter and I know that at times to dis­tract your op­po­nent you have to use some un­ortho­dox means to get un­der their skin, and it’s un­for­tu­nate that he went over­board.

“I know Van Heer­den is not a racist be­cause we’ve trained to­gether be­fore, but I was shocked by his post,” said Moyo.

The for­mer Tshaka Youth Cen­tre boxer said he ac­cepted van Heer­den’s apol­ogy, which he de­liv­ered in per­son.

“Af­ter post­ing that provoca­tive state­ment and re­al­is­ing that I wasn’t re­spond­ing, van Heer­den drove to my gym and apol­o­gised.

“He told me that he didn’t re­alise that the post will be blown out of pro­por­tion. But my ques­tion was he had time to photo shop and put my pic­ture side by side with a chim­panzee, add a cap­tion and yet he failed to re­alise the mis­take?

“Any­way, that is his­tory and I know he is re­gret­ting and I have no hard feel­ings about it, as I’m con­cen­trat­ing on my next fight,” said Moyo.

Van Heer­den’s post drew wide­spread con­dem­na­tion with var­i­ous posts on Moyo’s Face­book page lam­poon­ing the dis­graced for­mer world cham­pion.

EFC also con­demned Van Heer­den’s un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour.

“This type of be­hav­iour is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able by any­one, re­gard­less of whether you are a cham­pion or not, and will not be tol­er­ated. We will not tol­er­ate any form of racism by our ath­letes,” EFC pres­i­dent Cairo Howarth told efc­world­wide. com.

An of­fi­cial dis­ci­plinary hear­ing will be held with Van Heer­den and the sanc­tion­ing body, MMA SA.

Moyo will now trade leather with for­mer two-time cham­pion An­drew “One Gear” van Zyl at Sun City on Oc­to­ber 15 for the now va­cant heavy­weight ti­tle. — @ZililoR

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