trio try to reignite wba

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Top boxing promoter Rodney Berman is forming a tripartite alliance with Stan Christodoulou and Brian Mitchell with the purpose of re-establishing the World Boxing Association as a force in South African boxing.

Christodoulou is second in command of the Venezuela-based WBA, while Mitchell manages a number of fighters whose careers are guided by Berman under the banner of Golden Gloves.

"I feel that Stan Christodoulou's involvement in our plans will serve to enhance the status of our fighters in 2009," said Berman, whose first WBA title fight here was in 1982 between Charlie Weir and Davey Moore.

Moore stopped Weir in the fifth round.

At that time Christodoulou was executive director of the South African National Boxing Control Commission.

"Stan's experience and salutary achievements in international boxing in general and the WBA in particular, augurs well for the immediate future of our plethora of burgeoning talent," said Berman.

Christodoulou, an international Hall of Famer for his sterling job internationally as an esteemed referee and judge, believes their move will produce super bouts.

His organisation had great fights here, such as a number of heavyweight championships featuring Gerrie Coetzee against Big John Tate in 1974, Mike Weaver in 1980, Greg Page in 1985, as well as the flyweight clash between Peter Mathebula and Santos Laciar in 1981 and the lightweight clash between Dingaan Thobela and Tony Lopez in 1993.

"Those were tremendous fights," he said with pride.

Golden Gloves spokesman Terry Pettifer said Berman would not sever his ties with the International Boxing Organisation.

"His move to re-establish contact with the WBA is a huge positive step and one that is sure to reap substantial benefits for his array of fistic stars," he said.