De la hoya sinks WBC eliminator

OSCAR De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions has pulled out of a purse bid against Branco Milenkovic's Branco Sports Productions.

The two promoters, who have a cordial relationship, were to bid for the rights to stage the WBC bantamweight title eliminator between the No 1 and No 2 contenders, Simphiwe Vetyeka and Abner Mares.

Milenkovic co-promoted the WBC junior lightweight championship between Marco Barrera and Mzonke Fana with De La Hoya in Mexico in 2005.

Milenkovic said yesterday that the retired five-time world champion's stance of pulling out of the race has forced the hierarchy of the WBC to cancel the fight.

"It's the third time Golden Boy Promotions has done this," Milenkovic said.

Clearly his recent triumph against top American promoters Bob Arum, Don King, Gary Shaw and Cedrick Kushner in purse bids has sent a strong message worldwide about this local promoter's capability to win purse bids.

Milenkovic said the WBC had instructed Sasha Baktin, who is rated No 3, to enter into negotiations with him in order to replace Mares.

"I am waiting," he said.

Vetyeka's manager, Butityi Konki, is disappointed.

"I pulled Vetyeka out of a proposed fight on November 20 last year because of this one. These guys have really wasted our time," he said yesterday.

"But it's not the end of the world. Boxing is like war for soldiers. They don't sit at home and wait for it. They are always in camp training hard so that when war comes, they are ready for it. Vetyeka will do the same."

Meanwhile, Milenkovic revealed that the purse bid for the IBF junior lightweight championship between champion Robert Guerrero and Mzonke "The Rose of Khayelitsha" Fana will take place on Tuesday next week.

That was because De La Hoya, who guides the career of Guerrero, asked for the postponement of the purse bid.

Guerrero won the title from Milenkovic's charge Malcolm "The Stone" Klassen in Mexico on August 22 last year.

Fana won the No 1 spot after stopping Jasper "Jazzman" Seroka in the sixth round in the IBF title elimination bout.