bsa apologises for fight chaos

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Boxing SA, and the National Promoters Association have apologised to the SABC, its viewers, fight fans and sponsors for the embarrassment at East London's Mdantsane Indoor Centre on Friday night.

Disgruntled fans threw missiles and later invaded the ring. They were protesting against the delay in the start of one of the three international bouts.

Adrenalin was pumping. They had just watched a tit-for-tat clash during which SA junior bantamweight champion Thembelani Maphuma was dethroned by Themba Joyi.

The crux of the matter is that promoter S'Phatho Handi failed to deposit purse monies for the three Mexican fighters who were due to fight that night. At midday on Friday they declared a no show. Fans, who paid R100, were, however, not privy to this development.

The Maphuma-Joyi fight went ahead because Handi is said to have met Boxing SA's requirements regarding national titles. The heavyweight clash between holder Osborne Machimana and Myan Solomon was set to take place but was postponed to Saturday because of the unruly scenes.

Sakhiwo Sodo, an executive member of Boxing SA, said he was not aware of the problem until contacted by the SABC who were about to go live with their broadcast on Blow by Blow.

"I then called both [BSA chairman] Dr Peter Ngatane and [director of operations] Loyiso Mtya to get facts. Mtya said there were no problems with purse monies involving SA boxers. There was a challenge regarding the payment of the Mexican boxers," Sodo said.

"As a norm, he told me, this is the subject of a bilateral agreement between the promoter and the boxers themselves."

Sodo has recommended to BSA that the first step is to ensure that all purse monies should be deposited with BSA within the stipulated time lines (14 days before the fights).

"BSA should appoint its own representatives in the international bodies to ensure that all necessary requirements are met for the good of boxing here."

Mnguni, speaking in his capacity as chairman of the NPA, said the incident did not reflect on the ability of promoters to stage big events.

For the record the tournament happened on Saturday. Admission was free and fans came in big numbers.

Nkosinathi Joyi stopped Lorenzo Trejo in two rounds to retain his IBO mini flyweight title and Ludumo Galada stopped Pedro Navarette to retain the WBF featherweight title. Lubabalo Msuthu won the WBF bantamweight belt by stopping Jose Cabrera while Machimana outpointed Solomon.