By Mesuli Zifo

Former undisputed WBA featherweight champion Simpiwe Vetyeka will return to the ring against Colombian Rudolfo Puente in East London, South Africa on November 28.

The fight, which is originally scheduled to be the defence of Vetyeka’s WBA International title, is being negotiated to be elevated to a title eliminator.

Vetyeka’s promoter Andile Sidinile says he plans to convince the WBA at its Convention in Panama to approve the winner for an interim title challenge.

Vetyeka has been blighted by inactivity since surrendering his WBA crown to Filipino Nonito Donaire in Macau in May last year.

Despite the controversial manner in which the fight ended when an accidental head-butt

brought a premature halt, Vetyeka has been the worst off having fought just once since when he outpointed Mexican Arturo Reyes last December. This despite signing with the most influential advisor in the world Al Haymon. Haymon controls the majority of top boxers in the featherweight division yet Vetyeka is yet to cash in on the deal.

Sidinile says he is working towards Vetyeka getting approved to challenge for the WBA interim title early next year.

“The prospects look good but as you know these things can change overnight,” he says. 

Vetyeka’s loss to Donaire was his third in 30 bouts but with age being his biggest threat (he is 34) it is yet to be seen if he will ever cash in on his upset victory over Indonesian legend Chris John whom he dethroned for the WBA crown in six rounds in December 2013.

Sidinile admitted that it was imperative that his charge is moved swiftly to a world title shot before it is too late.

“Vetyeka is no spring chicken anymore so we need to do something hence I am hoping the WBA will listen when we present his case,” he said.

Puente has suffered one loss in 19 bouts via a disqualification early in his career but his fight record is littered with nondescript opponents many who have never won a fight before facing him.