Leroy Brown, Sunday Gleaner Writer
All discussions about a possible world-title fight between World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champion Nicholas Walters and 'The Filipino Flash' Nonito Donaire early next year, came to an abrupt end last Friday, when the World Championship Committee of the WBA ordered Walters and the newly crowned super champion Simpiwe 'V12' Vetyeka, to begin negotiations for a title fight, which is to take place by April 5, 2014.
The order by the WBA caught everyone by surprise, and followed closely on the stunning victory scored on December 6, by Vetyeka, over previously unbeaten Indonesian super-star boxer Chris John, who held the WBA super-champion featherweight title. Based on the instructions given to both camps by the WBA, neither boxer can now officially fight a different opponent.
Following his fourth-round technical knockout (TKO) victory over Alberto Garza, on November 9, in Corpus Christi, Texas, there was talk of Walters fighting Donaire, who that same night also scored a dramatic, come-from-behind TKO victory over Vic Darchinyan. Walters was due for a mandatory title defence, however, and the WBA has now issued the directive which must be adhered to.
South African Vetyeka, who is also the International Boxing Organisation (IB0) featherweight champion, placed himself in this position, when he scored one of the biggest upsets in boxing recently with a sixth-round victory over John. John, who won the WBA featherweight title in 2004, was declared the WBA super champion in the featherweight division, after his 10th successful defence of the title. He went into the fight on December 6 with 48 wins, three draws, and no losses, a record that included 18 successful title defences. He was on the brink of equalling the record set by Eusibio Pedroza, who had 19 successful defences of his WBA featherweight title.
Vetyeka outboxed John however, and after the sixth round, John's trainers told the referee that he would not be continuing the fight, thereby ending his incredible run as champion. When Walters and Vetyeka meet, it will be for super-champion status and all the prestige that is attached to that designation by the WBA.