my hands are clean

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Branco Milenkovic says there is nothing sinister in his signing of Mexican Manuel Medina to fight Malcolm Klassen in an IBF eliminator in South Africa in July.

The accomplished promoter said there is no animosity between him and rival promoter Rodney Berman, who had lined up Medina to fight IBF junior lightweight champion Cassius Baloyi.

Milenkovic said it was a purely business decision.

"Klassen left Berman's promotions last year and joined Branco Sports Production with certain expectations. My job is to fulfill those expectations," he said.

"People must know that I have a great relationship with Cassius Baloyi and Berman's American associate Art Pellulo. I did not sign Medina to spite Baloyi but I have to do what is best for my fighters and SABC."

The winner between Medina and Klassen will challenge Baloyi.

Even before Baloyi dethroned Fana, Berman mentioned that he and Pellulo were looking at Medina as Baloyi's next target. The boss of Golden Gloves Promotions confirmed this last Friday at a dinner party for his six-time world champion.

Berman refused to comment on Milenkovic's actions, instead repeating his wish to give Baloyi a deserved voluntary defence here.

"We are looking at Roberto Arrieta, Javier Alvarez and Nicky Cook," he said.

Arrieta is ranked seventh by the IBF and Alvarez is twelfth, while Cook is ranked 11th by the WBO. Arrieta was defeated by Fana in an IBF eliminator at Nasrec on December 8 2006 while Alvarez said "no mas" to Fana in the ninth round of Fana's first defence in Klerksdorp on August 31 last year.

Two years ago Milenkovic was awarded the right to stage the IBF junior lightweight fight between then champion Klassen and Mzonke Fana. Pellulo had won that bid but failed to meet his obligations and the IBF awarded it to the next highest bidder, which was Milenkovic.

Milenkovic also signed Gary St Clair before the Guyanese came to Mzansi to oppose Baloyi in the IBF eliminator, a fight Berman staged in November last year.