Ringside racism slammed

ANY form of racism in the diverse sport of boxing will not be tolerated, Boxing SA acting chief executive Loyiso Mtya warned yesterday.

ANY form of racism in the diverse sport of boxing will not be tolerated, Boxing SA acting chief executive Loyiso Mtya warned yesterday.

Mtya was reacting to Sowetan's report yesterday about a white female fan who shouted racist remarks to cheer on Thomas "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen in his bid to defend the WBA Pan African super middleweight title against Thomas Awinbono on Saturday night.

That fight, one of six bouts, was presented at Emperors Palace by Golden Gloves promotions.

She sat a row behind ringside. She screamed her lungs out, shouting the "F" and "K" words. Fight publicist Terry "Terrible Terence" Pettifer summoned the security personnel who sat at ringside to remove her. Pettifer's plea fell on deaf ears.

Mtya was not aware of the events when contacted by Sowetan yesterday.

"Such behaviour will never be tolerated. We will come down hard on such people," he warned. "Boxing SA worked tirelessly to bring all races back to the sport, which is the first in South Africa to disregard race. There is no space for racists, I am sorry."

Oosthuizen, like any other sports personality, appreciates support.

"But it must be positive," he said angrily yesterday. "None of us would want to be associated with racism.

"People must support their favourite sportspersons on the basis of ability, not race. It annoys me to read about racism which is associated with me."

Oosthuizen, 21, who is trained by Harold "Hammer" Volbrecht, used the opportunity to urge South Africans to come together and support Bafana Bafana in the World Cup in June.

Pettifer said Golden Gloves strongly condemned what happened on Saturday night.

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