North Cotabato’s best bet in winning the first world boxing championship, Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong of M’lang, will leave for Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday for his June 15 rematch with Zulu fighter Gideon Buthelezi.
Dapudong’s registered manager, former Governor Manny Piñol of North Cotabato 1 will accompany the 28-year-old farmer’s son from Barangay Pag-asa in the long trip to Johannesburg.
In November last year, Dapudong mauled and knocked down the South African in the 9th round. Two of the three judges declared the Zulu fighter the winner with the third judge, Reg Thompson of United Kingdom picking the Filipino as the winner for a split decision victory for Buthelezi.
The decision in the November 12 championship fight was widely criticized even by the South African media and following a complaint filed by Piñol, the International Boxing Organization (IBO) which sanctioned the fight, ordered a rematch.
The rematch was supposed to have been staged in February but the South African promoters moved it to June.
Dapudong, one of the products of the grassroots boxing program which Piñol started as governor of North Cotabato from 1998 to 2007.