boxer slams BSA ratings

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Boxing SA's sanctioning committee has come under fire from Reuben Groenewald who questioned its decision to approve Soon Botes to challenge Thabiso Mchunu for the South African cruiserweight title next year.

It was announced last month that the 10 rounder between Botes and Santana was the eliminator for the cruiserweight title. "Bazooka" Botes blew Santana, then number one contender, away in less than a minute.

Botes was then rated fifth in the light heavyweight division but he fought Santana at cruiserweight where Groenewald is rated second.

Groenewald says by right he automatically became the next available challenger for Mchunu.

"I want justice, that is all. I want to win a world championship in the cruiserweights. The SA title will definitely be a stepping stone towards that direction, but now authorities are denying me that deserved opportunity," said Groenewald, who has won two fights here since his return from the UK where he spent eight years.

His distrust of the national ratings committee annoyed its chairman Loyiso Mtya.

"Reuben had no interest in fighting here, hence he left for the UK, so he cannot force himself on us," he said.

"He has also not fought at cruiserweight. He fought Toto Mubenga at light heavyweight and Mongezi Ndzamela at heavyweight. Basically he does not qualify for the chance of fighting for any national title."

Groenewald, 31, the former All Africa junior middleweight, British Masters super middleweight and WBU middleweight champion, whose skills are honed by John Krige and Mike Schultz at Planet Fitness in Edenvale, said he wants to take Mchunu to deep waters. "I will drown him," he said.

Mchunu, Boxing SA's champion in the 2007 edition of the Baby Champs, won the national belt in July last year via a seventh round stoppage of Santana.

Two months later, the diminutive champion, who is built like a tank, added the WBA Pan African belt. The "Rock", flattened Marciano Commey in 32 seconds. That was Mchunu's fourth stoppage from five wins in as many fights.