Weighty matter

TOP boxing trainer Elias Tshabalala yesterday vehemently denied rumours that his charge Gideon "Hardcore" Buthelezi was given six hours to make the weight for the IBO title.

TOP boxing trainer Elias Tshabalala yesterday vehemently denied rumours that his charge Gideon "Hardcore" Buthelezi was given six hours to make the weight for the IBO title.

Buthelezi failed his first attempt but made the second six hours later on Friday.

He cruised to a unanimous points decision to lift the vacant mini flyweight belt over Philippines Ronelle Ferraras on Saturday night at Emperors Palace.

The fight was promoted by Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.

Judges Ace Makaluza, Thomas Kimons and Reg Thomson scored the fight 117-111.

Tshabalala said they were given two hours, which is a universal rule.

"We were told the IBO would meet at 6pm and it would be best if we came back at that time," Tshabalala said.

"Gideon made the limit at 6pm. It would not have taken us six hours to shed 40 grams. That is ludicrous."

Len Hunt, who represents the IBO in Africa, concurred.

"There is no controversy," he said. "If Gideon had failed to make the limit, the two camps would have made a decision to go ahead or not. The title would have been declared vacant if Buthelezi won."

Tshabalala also guided Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba to the IBO super middleweight title against Australian Michael Bolling.

Tshabalala is credited with guiding a fading Dingaan "The Rose of Soweto" Thobela to the WBC super middleweight crown beating Glen Catley in Brakpan, Ekurhuleni in 2000.

That was the first WBC title fight in South Africa.

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