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Branco ko's top american

By Bongani Magasela | Jan 26, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

SOUTH Africa has not produced world champions from credible bodies inside the ring like it used to do years back.

SOUTH Africa has not produced world champions from credible bodies inside the ring like it used to do years back.

But it has produced an undisputed world beater outside the ring: promoter Branco Milenkovic.

This accomplished Serbian - who is a naturalised South African - earned his stripes by defeating two heavyweight promoters, Bob Arum and Don King, in purse bids. King and Arum are members of the Hall of Fame.

This means that the local fighters involved in the bouts will not only enjoy territorial advantage but also earn serious money.

Milenkovic's first achievement was when he outbid Arum two weeks ago for the IBF mini flyweight world championship between Mexican champion Raul Garcia and Nkosinathi Joyi.

Milenkovic's Branco Sports Productions (BSP) will present this fight in East London on March 26.

His bid was $160000 (R1million), while Arum put up $125000 (R950000). Garcia will get 75percent while Joyi will earn 25percent.

Milenkovic won another bid purse on Thursday, beating King for the IBF mandatory bantamweight eliminator between US-based Ghanaian Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko and Vus'Umuzi Malinga with $70000 (R533 000) against King's $50000 (R381000). The bid took place in New Jersey, the headquarters of the IBF.

He will present this fight in Gauteng in April. Milenkovic produced four IBF champions last year: Malcolm Klassen, Simphiwe Nongqayi, Moruti Mthalane and Isaac Hlatshwayo.

"I don't see these as being personal achievement but as an opportunity to hoist the South African flag high worldwide.

"The world is surely taking note of our country, not only as the host of the Fifa 2010 World Cup but also as a country that has fighters and promoters worth their salt," he said.

Never before has a South African promoter stood up against Arum and King.

However, BSP will have a difficult purse bid on Friday in Mexico City for the WBC bantamweight mandatory eliminator between Mexican Abner Mares and Simphiwe "V12" Vetyeka.

Next week Milenkovic will be back in New Jersey for the much-anticipated IBF junior lightweight world championship bout between Roberto Guerrero, who dethroned Klassen last year, and Mzonke "Rose of Khayelitsha" Fana.

In both bids Milenkovic will be up against his friend Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions.

Meanwhile, Milenkovic has confirmed that he has no interest in today's purse bid for the vacant IBF lightweight title between Ali "Rush Hour" Funeka and Rolando Reyes.


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