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boxing's blues over

By unknown | Feb 05, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bongani Magasela

The R10,5 million sponsorship deal from Mike Motloung Tourist Choice to Boxing SA is a clear indication that the corporate world has changed its perception of boxing.

The three-year deal was announced last week. Boxing SA chief executive Bongani "Mr Fix-It" Khumalo said Motloung's company had been given naming rights for the national titles.

They were known as Old Buck Belts until 2005 when the wine distillery pulled out. The belts were then called after Boxing SA. But they will now be known as Tourist Choice belts.

Khumalo added that Motloung's company also bought a new luxury microbus for Boxing SA, which he said would be maintained by Tourist Choice. BSA would only have to fill petrol.

"The 2007 yearly awards and the convention will be held in Bloemfontein, Free State from February 15 to 17. Because it will be held outside the Gauteng province, transport arrangements and other logistics posed a serious challenge.

"I am delighted to announce that Tourist Choice is sponsoring luxury coaches, at discounted travelling fares, to ferry our licensees to the convention.

"This is a huge contribution in facilitating hassle-free, comfortable and reliable transportation to the awards ceremony and the convention for our delegates."

The deal comes when BSA needs to improve its financial sustainability, administration as well as quality of tournaments.

Marred by allegations of mismanagement of funds, which resulted in suspensions and disciplinary hearings (some ongoing), Boxing SA almost lost funding from the government. The few sponsors that had remained when big companies backed off later followed suit.

But Khumalo, who took the hot seat in June last year, said: "There are more big-name companies coming on board - watch this space."

Motloung was at a loss for words.

"I hope this will make my father happy. He wanted me to box and I couldn't but my undying love for this game grew bigger, hence this deal."

l Trainer Manny Fernandez has warned that SABC's stance of broadcasting one fight only at 10pm on Fridays will drive people like Motloung away.


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