Confusion ruins fight fest

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

LAST Friday night, I left Multi-Purpose Hall in Finetown, near Lenasia, a heart-broken man.

This is where boxing promoters Reggie Hilmer and Gavin Hope of Future Boxing Promotions presented their six-bout professional boxing tournament.

These two gentlemen proved how good they are organisationally - and this after having to deal with the confusion caused by Boxing SA.

It all began when Eastern Cape fighter Mzolisi Yoyo, who was to challenge SA lightweight champion Patrick Malinga, who is based in Gauteng, was reported to have failed the medical test during his relicensing bid.

Hilmer suggested that Malinga fight an international opponent but Boxing SA said Malinga must go to the next available contender because he had to do a mandatory defence.

Number two contender Vus'Umuzi Tyatyeka was not available because of the short notice. Hilmer was told to negotiate with Sikhu Sidzumo, who is rated in the lightweight and junior welterweight division. While doing so Boxing SA informed him Yoyo had passed a second medical, which meant Malinga had to face him.

Hilmer and Hope could not afford to cancel their tournament because that would have dented their image with the SABC, which allocates television dates. Sowetan made things worse by reporting that the tournament was to take place on Saturday.

Fortunately genuine boxing followers came in large numbers and watched Malinga knock out Yoyo in the second round. In the end I felt for Hilmer and Hope, who did the best they could in the circumstances.