A revolution is looming in local boxing.
Fighters are gatvol of being used by promoters as pawns to rake in million of rands from sponsorships and broadcast rights while they are rewarded with meagre financial incentives.
They have reached a point where they can no longer allow that exploitation.
Boxers took a stand during the yearly boxing convention in Bloemfontein last weekend. They want to be treated with deserved respect and, most importantly, to be rewarded accordingly.
They made their dissatisfaction known through a list of recommendations that was presented by Jan Bergman to the board of BSA for review.
The governing body promised to make changes where it can and forward those that it cannot resolve to parliament, since boxing in South Africa is governed by the act of parliament.
Few of the reasonable recommendations are:
l R4000 for a four rounder (currently it is R1000 but not all promoters pay that amount);
l an immediate end to binding contracts with a promoter because that prevents them from fighting for any other promoter;
l a retirement fund (20 percent of the sanctioning fee for fights that broadcasters pay to promoters); and
l that tax must be paid first before promoters can pay their trainers and managers.
BSA promised to report back after a month.
Most boxers are struggling financially and the cause of that is the above-mentioned issues. Sadly, the most affected boxers are those of colour.
Former world champions like Peter Mathebula, Jacob Matlala, Welcome Ncita, Bergman, Lehlohonolo Ledwaba, Vuyani Bungu, Mbulelo Botile, Peter Malinga, Zolani Petelo and Philip Ndou are battling financially.
Some were reckless with their hard-earned money while others owed tax. It is alleged that Mzukisi Sikali, the late former WBU and IBO champion, had only R35 in his bank account when he died a few years back.
Boxing is a brutal and destructive sport with long-term aftereffects. That is why these ring gladiators must be paid decent purse monies. Promoters can afford to do that from huge amounts of money they get from provincial governments, the corporate world, casinos as well as from TV stations (for broadcast rights).