Bergman wants Vuma but only if purse is right

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Jan Bergman refused to fight Vincent "The Rock" Vuma for the South African junior middleweight title last month because he was offered "a slave fee".

But Bergman did not divulge the figure or the promoter who had offered him the "peanuts".

Bergman still wants to fight Vuma on condition that he's not paid "anything less than R50000 or gate-takings. "I know what to do to market that fight," he said.

Fortunately Bergman can afford to turn down a fight as he has other sources of income such as his involvement with Blow by Blow - the SABC's boxing show.

But other fighters who don't have another income cannot.

Bergman, still rated number one, last put on gloves competitively on March 3 two years ago. This left hook specialist flattened Gottlieb Shileka in the eighth round at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek, Namibia then.

Bergman, who comes from from Toekomsrus, had been on a four-year semi retirement. His last fight had been on September 6 in 2003 in the UK where he lost in 51 seconds of the second round to James Hare in the WBF welterweight title.

Meanwhile trainer Jerry Phukuje, a former professional fighter from Meadowlands, revealed that his fighter, Boitshepo Mandawe, almost followed in Bergman footsteps last weekend for the same reason "meagre purse money".

Phukuje, who trained William Gare to stardom, said that that action would have forced the cancellation of the World Sports Promotions (WSP) bill of four fights - but thanks to Mandawe's manager Steve Mayisela who added R3500 to the R4500 WSP paid for the eight rounder.

Phukuje guided Mandawe to a seventh-round stoppage win over Dintwa Sloca from Botswana.

WSP had promised Mandawe R8000 but later reneged.

The standard fee for a four rounder is R1500.

Phukuje announced that Mandawe, the 2007 Baby Champs titlist, was a free agent.