By Mesuli Zifo
The proposed WBA featherweight unification clash between champions Simpiwe Vetyeka and Nicholas Walters is off and now Vetyeka will make the mandatory defense of the crown he lifted from retired Indonesian legend Chris John in Macau, China on February 22.
Vetyeka from South Africa will face Japanese Akifumi Shimoda as the co-feature to Miguel Vasquez's IBF lightweight title defense against Russian Denis Shafikov at Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort.
Vetyeka caused one the biggest upsets of 2013 when he stopped John in six rounds to take his WBA featherweight crown in Perth, Australia early this month.
Shortly after winning the title and ended John's ten-year stint as WBA champion snapping his 51 fight unbeaten record, he was ordered by the WBA to face Walters who holds the regular version of the title.
The WBA gave the two camps until January 9 to finalize the fight, failing which purse bids would be called.
Vetyeka's management stalled, insisting that the fighter had a rematch clause with John but the Indonesian legend announced his retirement.
In the midst of all that Top Rank which handles Walters declined the offer and instead included Vetyeka in its Macau show on February 22 against Shimoda who will come in as a mandatory challenger.
Vetyeka's manager Andile Sidinile confirmed that his charge will fight in Macau even though the contract is yet to be signed.
We are still waiting for Top Rank to make us an offer and then we will take it from there, he confirmed.
However Vetyeka signed a two fight option with Dragonfire Promotions in the event of him beating John and the Macao fight will be part of the option.
But Sidinile is confident of working out a deal with both Dragonfire Promotions and Top Rank that will satisfy all parties involved.
Meanwhile offers have been pouring in for Vetyeka since his shocking win over John with Golden Boy Promotions also understood to be interested to add him to its stable and match against the February 15 winner between Jhonny Gonzalez and Abner Mares.
GBP is believed to have even made Vetyeka an attractive offer to feature on the undercard of the proposed Floyd Mayweather vs Amir Khan in May.
Sidinile declined to confirm the reports insisting that Vetyeka was focused on showcasing his talent against Shimoda to be shown on HBO.
All I can say is that we are excited to be a co-feature to a fight which will be on HBO to show the world what Vetyeka is made of.Tags: Akifumi Shimoda , Simpiwe Vetyeka