South African fighter Simpiwe Vetyeka will be forced to relinquish his IBO featherweight title in his pursuit to defend his WBA crown against Nonito Donaire Jr. in May.
Vetyeka’s manager Andile Sdinile said in BD Live that IBO officials are mandating the fighter’s title defense before even fighting for a belt offered by other sanctioning bodies.
"IBO president Edward Levine informed me in writing that according to IBO rules, Vetyeka cannot be fighting for another world title without defending the IBO belt," said Sdinile.
IBO came out with the order after Top Rank announced the WBA featherweight clash between Vetyeka and Donaire, which will take place at the Cotai Arena in Macau on May 31.
Sdinile, however, said boxing promoter Bob Arum didn’t want to bring in the IBO title to the match due to the added expenses that comes with it.
"He said that if Vetyeka wanted to defend the IBO belt against Donaire, he would then have to pay for the sanctioning fees, stipend and accommodation for IBO officials. I was not prepared to do that," said Vetyeka’s manager. "I then communicated with Vetyeka and he agreed with me that we should drop the IBO title.”
Donaire said he expects a tough fight from Vetyeka who recently sent Indonesian boxing legend Chris John to retirement.
Serving as added motivation for Donaire is the prospect of becoming a five-division champion should he beat the South African.
“Sa akin lang, I just wanna fight and win this title. I should go and achieve more and more and more, but at the same timer excited na ko because parang may brand new motivation para kelangan kong Manalo,” the Filipino-American boxer said in previous interview.