More continents than not were represented at the WBA 94th Convention in Panama. Africa was represented, perhaps well represented to be more precise, by Andile Sidinile, the South African promoter working out of East London that everyone calls Ace.
In addition to being a boxing promoter, Ace is a former amateur boxer, board member of Boxing SA, and General Secretary of the East Cape Promoters Association.
He is also energetic and articulate.
The attendees at the Convention had a mixed bag of intentions. Some made the scene to renew old acquaintances. For some it was a chance to trade inclement weather for some fun in the sun. For others it was a chance to make fights for their fighters.
“I promote Simpiwe Vetyeka and some other boys who are coming up to fight for world titles,” Ace told WBAnews.com. “He just defended his WBA international title. It was just a fight to keep him busy. So, after the convention, we hope to get confirmation that he might fight for the interim title held by a Peruvian guy named Carlos Zambrano or the regular title held by the Argentinean Jesus Cuellar. But we heard that Cuellar might vacate to fight at 130, so we’re waiting. If the interim title comes we’ll take it. If Cuellar comes we’ll take it. But we’re here to see if we can’t clinch a title for Vetyeka to fight for either title.”
Boxing is a global sport, but South Africa is a long way from home. I asked Ace to tell me a little about the South African fight scene.
“The last five years we had a lull,” he said, “because of some litigation with regards to television broadcasting and all that. But it’s picking up now. I’m sure in the next two or three years the South African scene will expand a little bit, so that out boxers can be in the international scene. Currently you have one or two going overseas to fight and I need to confess that they have not been successful in that regards. The only boxer who has been successful is Vetyeka himself. He went all the way to Australia and defeated the previously undefeated Chris John. I don’t want to talk about Vetyeka against Donaire in Macau. Very controversial, but we’re doing our best to be participants in the international scene also.”
The fights against Chris John and Donaire were memorable, but for different reasons. I asked Ace about Vetyeka and if he was a good kid.
“He is. He is one of the disciplined boxers that I know. He is focused. But the truth of the matter, age is not on his side now, so that’s why we need to push him as fast as we can. The target is for him to fight for a title in March or April the latest.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.