Klassen overjoyed with IBF belt

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Malcolm "The Stone" Klassen expressed his gratitude to promoter Branco Milenkovic for making it possible for him to get his IBF belt, which he has been eagerly waiting for since November last year.

He was supposed to have received it just after ending Gairy St Clair's reign as the IBF junior lightweight champion on the night of November 11 at Emperors Palace.

"I have been frustrated. There have been promises but in the end it became clear to me that it was lies," said Klassen who lost the same title to Mzonke "Rose of Khayelitsha" Fana in April.

The belt that Klassen is talking about is the replica of the IBF belt. He says they used Cassius Baloyi's when Klassen defended unsuccessfully against Fana.

Klassen, from Toekomsrus, whose skills are honed by Manny Fernandez and Gert Strydom, bolted from the Golden Gloves stable a month ago and teamed up withMilenkovic. Klassen said Golden Gloves' failure to organise his belt is one of the many reasons that forced him to leave them.

"I have not fought even once under Branco but already he has organised my belt. I am delighted," said the former SA undefeated featherweight champion.

He received his IBF belt last Friday before Fana defended his title against Argentinian Javier Alvarez in Klerksdorp.

"I now have something to show my kids that I once held the IBF title."

Milenkovic said he would convince the WBC's hierarchy during their convention in Philippines next month to give Klassen a top 10 rating. He is rated at number 13.

"Do not forget that the WBA and WBO champions are promoted by my associate Aikaro Honda and Oscar De La Hoya respectively. So Malcolm could be a world champion again sooner than expected," said Milenkovic.