by Ronnie Nathanielsz
International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super Flyweight champion Edrin "The Sting" Dapudong easily made the weight at the official weigh-in for his first title defense at the International Convention Center in East London, South Africa on July 19, Manila Time.
Dapudong ripped the scales at 114.4 lbs., well below the 115 weight limit while challenger Lwandile Sityatha came in lighter at 114.1 lbs.
Dapudong’s manager, former North Cotabato governor Manny Pinol informed the Manila Standard/Viva Sports that both fighters made the weight in their first try in the official weigh-in and medical check up supervised by IBO Vice President for Africa Len Hunt.
One of Manny Pacquiao’s assistant trainers Nonoy Neri who worked with Dapudong for over three months said the long and hard training proved to be very helpful in making sure that champion would not have problems making the weight.
Pinol quoted Neri who said "That is the benefit the boxer gains when he trains hard and prepare for a longer period of time, he will have no problem in making the weight."
While making the weight was a breeze Dapudong may find it a little more difficult in the ring when he faces South African challenger Lwandile Sithyatha who is against a fighter who had been in prison for two years for armed robbery.
Pinol himself admitted “there is something in Sityatha which could work to his advantage: He is poor and hungry and to a point desperate.”
South African 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."