Champ could be stripped of title

CRUISING: WBC International lightweight king Ali Funeka. Pic. Michael Thayer.  24/10/04. © Daily Dispatch.
CRUISING: WBC International lightweight king Ali Funeka. Pic. Michael Thayer. 24/10/04. © Daily Dispatch.

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Ali Funeka's continuous and flagrant disregard for boxing rules and regulations could force Boxing SA to strip him of the SA junior lightweight belt he has held since 2004.

The Eastern Cape fighter virtually refused to make the mandatory defence against Godfrey Nzimande when he was ordered by Boxing SA to do so.

The Governing body wrote to Funeka and his camp on April 13 giving them 14 days to furnish Boxing SA with signed contracts of agreement for the fight.

He has violated that condition.

Funeka, who boasts six title defences, was also given seven days from April 13 to start negotiations with Nzimande. He failed to do so.

Boxing SA made it clear in its letter that contracts for championship fights must be submitted (a minimum) 30 days before the championship date, and it gave Funeka 60 days (latest June 12) to face Nzimande. Signed contracts were to be lodged no later than May 12 and Funeka violated that condition too.

Loyiso Mtya of Boxing SA said they have exhausted all available avenues to appease the champion.

"I am consulting with board members to get finality on this matter, which could be to strip Funeka or give him the extended time to defend [his title]," he said.

Funeka should have been stripped of his title on April 1, which was the date he was obliged to face Nzimande on. He chose to defend the WBC International title against Ghanaian Yakubu Amidu.

Nzimande, from Limpopo, has been idling since December 12 after blasting Oneboy Makhwelo in five rounds. He could not risk his rating by taking a fight in the interim.

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