Edrin Dapudong's Team See Danger in Sithyatha Clash

by Ronnie Nathanielsz
IBO super flyweight champion Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong faces a dangerous ex-convict Lwandle Sithyatha in the Filipino’s first title defense at the International Convention Center in East London, South Africa on Saturday, Manila Time.
Although very little is known about the challenger who is ranked only No. 18 by the IBO, Dapudong’s manager Manny Pinol informed Standard/Viva Sports that”even before boxing promoter Ayanda Matiti, who is staging the world title fight in the Orient Theater took him in, Sityatha went to jail for two years for armed robbery.”
Pinol, the former North Cotabato governor and journalist added “there is something in Sityatha which could work to his advantage: He is poor and hungry and to a point desperate.”
The promoter predicted “We will win the fight and get Dapudong's belt. This would be a fitting tribute to the Madiba, Nelson Mandela, who birthday we will celebrate on the day of the fight."
Well known boxing writer Mesuli Zifo described Sithyatha as “one of the fiercest body punchers in the business but at times he inexplicably decides to abandon this effective boxing style. He also possesses a granite jaw and can walk through fire to light up his own. He also possesses a high work rate and although he is not a one-punch knockout specialist, his volume of punches can easily end a bout."
However, the Daily Dispatch writer also pointed out that  Sithyatha who has a record of 17-2-1 with 7 knockouts “is an erratic boxer that one will never know which Sityatha will show up” on fight night.
Zifo noted that  the South African has what he described as “a leaky defense and can easily be out-boxed”  by a fighter who moves well and throws punches from different angles.
Another leading South African boxing writer Ron Jackson of Super Sport said that Dapudong who sports a record of 29-5 with 17 knockouts including a 1st round demolition of Gideon Buthelezi in a rematch in June last year after losing a hugely controversial split decision in November 2012 said the 28 year old Dapudong “is a firm favorite” to win and retain his title.
Dapudong’s manager Manny Pinol who had threatened to pull-out of the fight after the South African promoter with the apparent consent of IBO president Ed Levine tried to switch the assigned British referee with a South African but ultimately saved the fight by having internationally respected referee Bruce McTavish assigned to be the third man in the ring and appointing a Ghana official to replace McTavish as one of the three judges, said Sithyatha “is taller and more muscular than the Filipino champion but it was evident that Sityatha was having problems with weight because he looked gaunt, an indication of a fighter who has limited food and liquid intake to make the 115-lb. limit for Super Flyweights.”
Pinol informed the Manila Standard/Viva Sports that while Dapudong was only 116 lbs. in the trial weigh in, even if he was regularly taking light meals and measured liquid, Sityatha was still 2.3 lbs. over the weight limit.
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