Promotional battle stalls fight

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

The wrangle between Orion Sports Management and New York-based promoter Ricardo Salazar over promotion of a fight has delayed the IBF junior featherweight fight between champion Steve Molitor and Takalani Ndlovu.

Golden Gloves publicist Terry Pettifer said according to Orion Sports Management, the Canadian champion should defend against Ndlovu in July in Canada, while Salazar wants the fight to take place in the US.

The IBF has given Molitor's promoters a month to set up the title fight. Moreover, the IBF recognises Salazar as Molitor's chief promoter.

If the fight does not take place by mid-April, it will then go to purse bids. A reliable source in Golden Gloves said they will also bid.

Ndlovu's promoter Rodney Berman is interested in bringing the bout to South Africa. The winning bidder will have until July to stage the fight.

"I would love to bring it here. The ambiance at Emperors Palace compares [well] with some of the best boxing venues in the world," said Berman. The first local boxer to win the title was Welcome Ncita in 1990. Vuyani Bungu followed in 1994, then Lehlohonolo Ledwaba in 1999.

Berman believes that Ndlovu, who holds the IBO belt, will not only follow in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors but also has the potential to unify the crown.

"We regard the diadem as our personal title and Takalani has the power to regain what's ours."