by Ronnie Nathanielsz
International Boxing Organization president Ed Levine has ordered a rematch between Filipino super flyweight Edrin Dapudong and South Africa's Gideon Buthelezi who won the title by a hugely controversial split decision in Johannesburg last November 10.
In a copy of a letter addressed to Dapudong's manager, former North Cotabato governor, journalist and boxing commentator Manny Pinol which Levine forwarded to this reporter who had also raised the issue of a bum decision, the IBO president said "The IBO is pleased to confirm that Golden Gloves Promotions of South Africa, in the interest of true sportsmanship, have agreed to the IBO’s request that there be a rematch between Gideon Buthelezi and Edrin Dapudong."
Levine said "what was very evident from a review of the judges score cards is that this was an extremely closely contested fight between two worthy opponents and that the performance of Dapudong deserves a rematch. Accordingly, the IBO has agreed to sanction a direct rematch in which Gideon Buthelezi defends the IBO World Jr.Bantamweight title against Edrin Dapudong with no intervening fights."
Despite the fact that Buthelezi was badly battered and even dropped in the 9th round he got the nod of two of the three judges to win the title via a split decision with American judge Michael Pernick scoring it for the hometown boxer 115-113 and South African judge Tony Nyangiwe turning in a 115-112 scorecard prompting Dapudong's patron/manager, former governor Manny Pinol who was at ringside to file an immediate protest.
The South African media including the website of promoter Rodney Berman said “Bleeding from the nose and badly bruised around the left eye, Buthelezi took a beating. But he got lucky with the judges” with only Britain’s Reg Thompson scoring it for Dapudong 114-113.
Golden Gloves said "It was rough justice on Dapudong, who was the sharper and busier of the two fighters. Little wonder he looked perplexed and distraught when the scorecards were announced.” The boxing website added "Dapudong must have thought he had the fight in the bag when he delivered a flash nine-count knockdown on Buthelezi in the ninth round.”
Pinol informed the Manila Standard that the rematch has been tentatively scheduled for Feb. 16, 2013 even as he told Levine that the "IBO's order for an immediate rematch is an act of justice and a manifestation of the sense of fairness of the IBO President and the organization."