deal not so sweet

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Tourist Choice's whopping R10,5 million sponsorship of Boxing SA seems to have brought little joy to promoters.

A large number of promoters at BSA's yearly convention in Bloemfontein last weekend felt that chief executive Bongani "Mr Fix-It" Khumalo owed them a full explanation of what this three-year deal meant to them.

Loyiso Mtya's explanation that the money will be used on administration is hogwash. He said this at the Pyramid Conference Centre, south of Johannesburg, where Khumalo and his opposite number at Tourist Choice, Mike Motloung, exchanged vows.

Khumalo announced that Motloung's company had been given naming rights for the SA title. They will now be called Tourist Choice belts.

National belts have for many years been known as Old Buck belts but that name died in 2005 when the distillery pulled out. Since then the belts have been called BSA belts. BSA's swiftness to change is what has raised the ire of promoters.

"BSA did not see the need for a referendum to discuss this but issues pertaining to national interests need such a platform.

"We must retain the country's name and add the sponsor as the suffix. This is happenig in football where big companies that sponsor national teams have no naming rights. This can only happen in boxing," said the promoters.

They said Absa gave the PSL R500 million, which is valid for five years, and all 16 clubs get a monthly grant of R1 million. Winners at the end of the season will walk away with R10 million.

"Players wear branded jerseys with pride. We in boxing will help BSA market their sponsors' brand free of charge.

"Imagine the publicity the sponsor will get from all 17 weight divisions," they added.

Khumalo's response was: "The substantial portion of that money will be used to purchase 17 belts. First-time champions will win belts that will not be rendered back to us.

"The other advantage of this sponsorship is the microbus they bought for us and the first beneficiaries will be the promoters. The bus will be used to ferry officials to and from various points where tournaments will be staged.

"Tourist Choice, the travel agency, has availed its vehicles to us at a reasonable price. Three luxury buses we used for the convention last week came from them."