Gideon Buthelezi says the suggestion by his promoter Ayanda Matiti for a camp in East London came at an opportune time when he needed tranquillity to be able to decisively deal with the death of his mother.
Buthelezi, who will be gunning for his fourth world title in four weight divisions on Friday next week, described his mother as being the tower of his strength.
“I was raised by a single mother and when that person goes, it breaks you,” said Buthelezi, who has set up camp in Mdantsane, where he is preparing for Dave Apolinario.
“I accepted the fate but the pain cannot just go away and somehow it affected my performance in my last fight against Jonas Matheus, although I won the fight. So when Ayanda, who was also not impressed by performance, suggested that I come down to Mdantsane, I did not think twice.”
Buthelezi is from Boipatong in the Vaal. “I stay with Linda Saliwa in Mdantsane,” he said of Matiti’s protégé who promotes boxing under Xaba Academy.
Buthelezi’s fight for the vacant IBO flyweight title against the Filipino will be staged by Matiti’s Xaba Promotions and Events at East London’s ICC Hall.
Buthelezi also allayed concerns from the fight public that he could be taking a big health risk by going down to the flyweight division at his age.
“The difference in weight is 1kg, so there is no danger,” said the former IBO mini-flyweight, junior-flyweight and junior-bantamweight holder.
He says former SA junior-bantamweight champion Miniyakhe Sityatha, Ben Mtyaliselo and Mnyamezeli Sosha are tasked with honing their skills at Train in Motion Fitness Centre in Mdantsane.
Buthelezi has 23 wins from 28 fights while 23-year-old Apolinario is undefeated after 16 fights.