Berman angry with his rival

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Rodney Berman has criticised rival promoter Branco Milenkovic for his apparent shoddy treatment of Malcolm Klassen last week.

Berman said he is not detracting from Mzonke Fana's fine performance in capturing the IBF junior lightweight title from Klassen on a split points decision.

"Besides the fact that many highly experienced observers felt Klassen had retained his title, I have to protest about the shoddy manner in which our world champion was treated," he said.

"Manny Fernandez [Klassen's trainer] was sent to the wrong dressing room and then after being relocated, it emerged that he had to organise his own chairs while they prepared to enter the ring.

"Moreover, while Fernandez and Klassen were told that a driver would pick them up at 7pm to [take them to] the OR Tambo Hall, the appointed driver failed to turn up and a Sowetan journalist [yours truly] gave the champ a lift to the arena.

"That does not show the disorganised state of affairs only but it smacks of a total lack of consideration for the world champion. Branco did his best to ensure that Klassen was suitably upset even before he entered the ring."

But Milenkovic said the allegations smacked of "sour grapes".

"Disappointed is an understatement if I were to talk about the Klassen camp and his promoter's bad behaviour prior to and during the fight.

"I do not want to go into details," he said.