by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former IBO super flyweight Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong hopes to avenge the loss of his title in what his manager Manny Pinol claims was a “another example of a hometown decision which was widely criticized even by South African boxing aficionados.”
Pinol revealed a contract for the rematch between Dapudong and newly crowned champion Lwandile Sithyatha was signed even before Dapudong and his handlers left South Africa which is tentatively scheduled for November 14 at the Davao City Recreation Center, formerly the Almendras Gym.
Pinol, the former North Cotabato Governor said he and Sityatha's manager and promoter, Ayanda Matiti, signed the rematch contract witnessed by Len Hunt, the International Boxing Organization (IBO) vice president for Africa and Asia.
However, IBO president Ed Levine in an email to the Manila Standard/Viva Sports on Thursday night said “I have no information as yet on a rematch between Sithyatha and Dapudong in the Philippines”
At the same time the IBO president informed us that “IBO Championship rules do not prohibit immediate rematches without the champion first having a voluntary defense/”
Pinol pointed out that Dapudong's loss was his second controversial defeat in South Africa having earlier lost an even more controversial decision to Gideon Buthelezi in November 2012 which prompted IBO president Ed Levine to order a rematch which Dapudong won by a spectacular 1st round knockout in June last year..
Sityatha's split decision win was criticized even by South African boxing men especially after the lone South African judge Andile Matika scored the fight for Dapudong 115-113 as against the scorecards of last-minute replacement for McTavish, Eddie Pappoe of Ghana and Walkeska Roldan of New York who both turned in identical 116-112 scorecards for Sithyatha.
McTavish told the Standard/Viva Sports that he agreed with Matika’s scorecard and if he hadn’t been replaced as a judge would have score the fight for Dapudong 115-113 or 7 rounds to 5 which would have enabled Dapudong to retain his title although he conceded it was a close fight.
McTavish indicated that around 80 percent of people who knew boxing such as trainers, managers and promoters who watched the fight at the Convention Center believed Dapudong deserved to win.
Internet site MaxBoxing reported that Sithyatha’s “extra strength and lateral movement edged the fight for the home boxer”
Reporting for SecondsOut.com from ringside, Lwazi Ndzobongo said “in a very difficult nfight to score, Sithyatha used his hand-speed and better skills to get the nod from the judges. Dapudong was in it all the way landing a variety of shots in pressuring the sometimes easy to hit Sithyatha. Had Dapudong carried my power he would have retained his title.”