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Ndou vs Ndou- by Jeff Ellis

Emperors Palace will be rocking to the sound of 2009’s most explosive fistic action, when on July 11, Golden Gloves Promotions, in association with SuperSport and Emperors Palace, hosts a “Triple Thunder” event, the like of which fight fans generally dream about!

Indeed, with acolytes already abuzz at the prospect of seeing two of this country’s most exciting young fighters; Tommy “Tommy Gun” Oosthuizen and Jared “The Storm” Lovett exchange heavy artillery in a bout for the vacant IBO “Youth” light heavyweight title, there is also the mouth watering prospect of having one of the most exciting bouts imaginable on the bill, that between Phillip “The Timebomb” Ndou and Lovemore Ndou, a former IBF world champion who has been campaigning
out of Australia for a number of years. Then too, we’ll be featuring one of Golden Gloves’ most recent acquisitions, Simpiwe Vetyeka (20-1, 12 knockouts), a slick boxing bantamweight with adequate power, in a contest with Eric Barcelona (47-15-4) for the vacant IBO bantamweight crown.

Experts will undoubtedly agree that this tournaments line-up is one of the most alluring in years!

That the Ndou Vs Ndou bout will be a thunderous battle, appears definite and bookmakers will be hard-pressed to install either man as the favourite.

Phillip Ndou recently made a longawaited comeback to the ring after a four-year absence and notwithstanding the fact that he now fights as a junior welterweight, this merciless puncher, who once held the WBU junior lightweight title, has already convinced critics that he has lost none of his skill and electrifying power.

Back in 2001, Ndou roared to the mantle of finest “Pound-for-Pound” South African
fighter after a feverishly fought contest with Cassius Baloyi, that is rated as one of
the greatest bouts ever seen on local soil.

Baloyi was the first and only one of Phillip’s victims ever to go the distance and it should also be remembered that Ndou is the ONLY South African boxer ever to win a world title with a 100% list of knockout wins! That excludes a bout he lost in England earlier in his career. Can Phillip do what no fighter has ever managed to do, namely knock out Lovemore Ndou? It’s an intriguing question that most pundits seriously doubt!

A charismatic entertainer with hordes of admirers, Phillip Ndou has promised to furnish us with “a big surprise” in the contest with his Venda namesake, who happened to be Phillip’s captain during their days as provincial representatives for Northern Transvaal. “I’m going to surprise you all big time” the 31-yearold “Timebomb” told the press at a recent media briefing at the Mondior Hotel at Emperors Palace.

With Lovemore Ndou joining in the conversation by means of a telephonic loud speaker link-up, the saber-rattlings of both fighters made for interesting audience.

“You have got a lot to say Phillip, but I’ll do my talking with my fists and not over the phone but in the ring where it really counts” said the 37-year-old Lovemore.

Minutes later the same Lovemore sent tournament co-ordinator Shona Mactaggart
an SMS saying, “Phillip has signed his own death warrant on July 11”.

Hardly faint-hearted stuff you will agree, particularly since death is the last thing either fighter wants to really happen, but the older fighter’s sentiments were clearly indicative of his emotional state of mind as his forthcoming opponent virtually shut him out of the pre-fight bantering. Nonetheless, Lovemore Ndou is without question one of the most experienced and toughest fighters on the planet, with a record of 46 wins, 11 losses and 1 draw. Also, his knockout record is frightening, remembering that 31 of his opponents failed to go the distance. Moreover he has fought some of the finest boxers in the world, like Junior Witter, Paul Malignaggi, Kermit Citron, Naoofel Ben Rabah, Miguel Angel Cotto and
Sharmba Mitchell.

Lovemore turned professional in 1993, winning 10 of his first 11 bouts before
going to Australia. There he honed his skills and eventually went on to lift the
IBF junior welterweight crown by compelling the retirement of Naoufel Ben
Rabah in the 11th round in February 2007. Ndou subsequently lost the crown on points to Paul Malignaggi in the same year, but took Malignaggi to a “split” decision in a return match last year. Nicknamed “The Black Panther”, this South African-born pugilist is highly respected overseas and part of his tremendous mystique stems from the fact that he has never been stopped! Whether or not that will change on July 11, remains to be seen!


Simpiwe Vetyeka originally hails from Duncan Village in the Eastern Cape,
and on July 11 he starts his career under the GGP banner with an immediate crack at the vacant IBO bantamweight title against the tiger-like Eric Barcelona of the Philippines. The current SA bantamweight champion, Vetyeka has already defended his national title 9 times, since lifting the homespun belt from Khulile Makeba in only his 11th fight. His only setback thus far has been to WBC bantamweight king Hozumi Hasegawa via a 12-round decision back in May 2007. By all accounts it was a grueling and finely poised battle throughout.

Vetyeka turned professional on January 11, 2002 and won his first 16 contests
before challenging for the WBC bantamweight title. At 5’ 7” he is fairly tall
for a bantamweight and boasts some highly credible victories over the likes
of Ebenezer Tumane (TKO 2), Lubabalo Msuthu (TKO 8), Nkqubela Gwazela (W
12), and Nkosinathi Tshnavhe (TKO 8). A solid boxer with numbing punching
power, Vetyeka is unquestionably a tremendous fighter and we at GGP have high hopes of him becoming a household name in South African boxing over the next two years.

But what of the chunky Eric Barcelona? At the age of 27, this nuggety Filipino has fought some of the world’s best fighters, and has an overall record of 47- 15-4, with 17 knockouts to his name. Local fans will remember him for the great battle he gave former IBO bantamweight champion Silence Mabuza in 2004, and it’s noteworthy that Barcelona has won 8 of his last 10 bouts, including victories over the likes of Aljun Salogaol, Jerry Manganip, Danilo Pena, Phil Angcamor, Brix Ray
and Pol Apolinario.

Nevertheless, South Africa’s Simpiwe Vetyeka is presently a highly ranked WBC bantamweight contender, and appears confident that he’ll have enough of “everything” to impose his craftsmanship to maximum effect come July 11 at Emperors Palace. “He is a superb boxer” said Rodney Berman, who believes that Vetyeka will win the IBO championship when he faces Barcelona.