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I don't know what went wrong, he says

By unknown | Nov 01, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Gairy St Clair has vehemently denied causing the cancellation of the eagerly anticipated rematch with Cassius Baloyi that was scheduled to take place at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.

"I was happy with $120 000 [about R895000]. I am surprised to hear Baloyi's trainer Nick Durandt say I wanted too much money.

"My manager was doing business with the promoter," he said yesterday after his pre-fight medical for his fight with Malcolm Klaasen on Saturday night.

St Clair committed himself to giving Baloyi a chance to reclaim his IBF and IBO junior lightweight belts an hour after ending Baloyi's reign on July 29.

"At one time it's on, and later it is not. I do not really know what went wrong."

Sowetan wrote a story two months back that the rematch was off after St Clair had opted for a much softer opponent in his voluntary defence.

But Golden Gloves quashed it in their media briefing. However, they made an about-turn a few weeks later and said the rematch was off because of St Clair's demand for an "astronomical" purse.

They have instead brought on Klaasen for the Saturday night clash. Klaasen is not rated in the IBF's junior lightweight class.

He occupies that sanctioning body's 15th spot in the featherweight division, where he holds the national title.

"It is a God-given chance," he said.

"Look at good guys such as Isaac Hlatswayo. He fights for the WBO eliminator on Saturday and I am fighting for the world title. I'm going in there body and soul to grab it with both hands."

Four other world titles will be at stake while two local fighters, Banda Mathebula and Daniel Bruwer, will host Zhi Xai from China and Charles Chisamba from Zambia in non-title fights.


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