Featherweight fireworks in the offing

Battle-hardened Simphiwe Vetyeka will likely line up as favourite for the inaugural Super Four featherweight contest.

The draw has been done and two fascinating fights have been made for the first round of the Super Four featherweight tournament at Emperors Palace on October 21.

Independent arbiters came up with the contest which sees youngster Lerato Dlamini in a sink-or-swim bout against former world champion Simphiwe Vetyeka. For Dlamini it represents an unexpected opportunity to leapfrog his way into the international limelight given how Vetyeka has operated at the highest levels.

He’s an exciting prospect with a powerful punch, but he’ll be hard-pressed to hurt a man who has never been stopped in a 15-year pro career.

With Vetyeka, the danger is of looking too far beyond Dlamini. Ordinarily, he would be expected to beat the whippersnapper, but boxing is littered with fighters who got the shock of their lives in fights they were expected to win.

The other half of the draw sees Tshifhiwa Munyai, something of a veteran, up against formidable newcomer Azinga Fuzile.

Munyai is a former Commonwealth champion who challenged for the world title three years ago. With four wins on the bounce going in, he is very dangerous. Not that Fuzile will be daunted. He’s a young and hungry fighter determined to crack the big time. Given what’s at stake – a big purse and bragging rights – he has all the incentive he needs.

Coming from impoverished circumstances, the tournament offers him a chance to lift his family up and better all their lives.