LOCAL fight fans who were hoping to watch the colourful Simphiwe "Golden Master" Nongqayi in action against Malik Bouziane tomorrow will be disappointed because the SABC will not be televising the fight.
Nongqayi will be making the first defence of his IBF junior bantamweight title against the Frenchman in Massy, Paris.
The blackout comes as a surprise because Nongqayi's promoter, Branco Milenkovic, who will present this fight with European Box Promotions, works exclusively with the national broadcaster.
The SABC has shown loyalty to Milenkovic and a few of his fighters in world title fights abroad.
It televised the WBC junior lightweight title fight between Mzonke "Rose of Khayelitsha" Fana and Marco "Baby-Faced Assassin" Barrera in Mexico in 2005, and the IBF junior lightweight championship fight between Malcolm "The Stone" Klassen and Roberto "The Ghost" Guerrero in Texas last year. Fana and Klassen lost those fights.
Milenkovic refused to confirm or deny the apparent cracks in his cordial relationship with the SABC.
The national broadcaster's senior administrator, Joe Visagie, could not explain yesterday why the fight would not be covered.
Visagie referred Sowetan to Oupa Mahlangu, who could not be reached. In fact, the phone number Visagie gave us does not exist.
There was also a blackout when Evans "Sweet Pea" Mbamba, Jeffrey "The Mongoose" Mathebula and Takalani "The Panther" Ndlovu failed to win world titles abroad against Tomas Rojas, Celestino Caballero and Steve Molitor, respectively.
This is a second snub for Nongqayi, as the national broadcaster failed to televise his superb upset defeat of Mexican legend Jorge "Travieso" Arce in Mexico on September 15 last year.
The Nick Durandt-trained fighter from Border Post in Eastern Cape won the IBF belt.