Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Alleged dubious dealing between some local boxing promoters and their international counterparts has contributed to boxers' financial woes.

One of the affected fighters, Jan "Kid Gavilan" Bergman claimed Dingaan Thobela, Sugarboy Malinga, Welcome Ncita, Mpush Makambi, Mbulelo Botile, Zolani Petelo, Hawk Makepula, Vuyani Bungu and Lehlohonolo Ledwaba were also victims.

"We signed 'South African' contracts, got paid in rands. This short changed us financially. The only time I signed an international contract and got paid in dollars was when I fought Kosta Tszyu in Australia in 1996. I was paid US$100 000", he said.

Thobela said when he asked why he was signing a local contract for his fight against Tony Lopez, he was told that was because a local promoter had clinched the deal.

The "Rose of Soweto" fought in America, Puerto Rico, UK, Canada and Denmark.

Bergman, who campaigned in America, Italy and Namibia, said this dishonorable practice must come to a screeching halt.

Bergman spoke yesterday in his capacity as chairman of the National Boxers Association (NBA). "I will mobilise all fighters into a campaign to deal with international contracts.

"The rules say that when we fight outside South Africa, we must sign international contracts and be paid in their currency", he said.

"Local promoters should have been paid a commission, that none of them asked for it, implies that they worked in collusion with international promoters".

Bergman threatened to ask the Sports Portfolio Committee to investigate.

Peter Ngatane encouraged Bergman. "Boxers mustn't leave their lives in the hands of trainers, managers and promoters. It's good that they want to take full control of their careers now", said the chairman of Boxing SA.

"This is a sport for the down-trodden, we want to assist as best we can".