defying tv blackout

THE television blackout in boxing has not dampened the spirits of genuine promoters who are determined to stage boxing tournaments.

THE television blackout in boxing has not dampened the spirits of genuine promoters who are determined to stage boxing tournaments.

But fight fans could be hit in the pocket because promoters are likely to charge higher admission fees to make up for the loss of TV revenue.

The SABC has been an integral part of boxing but the national broadcaster abandoned the sport recently to focus on the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The soccer fiesta is over but it is still unclear how long it will be before the national broadcaster televises boxing again.

Promoters like Nick Durandt, Branco Milenkovic and Pat Molefe are not allowing the current situation to deter them.

Molefe, Neo Africa and Durandt Boxing World jointly presented a successful international championship recently, which not televised.

The tournament, featuring Mikey Schultz and Jared Silverman, was staged at a packed Wembley Arena in Johannesburg.

Now Milenkovic is following that up with a mouth-watering tournament on August 27 that will also not be televised. The extravaganza will feature celebrated boxers Cassius Baloyi, Mzonke Fana, Moruti Mthalane, Zolani Tete, Takalani Ndlovu, Jeffrey Mathebula, Tshepo Lefele, Silence Mabuza and Evans Mbamba.

Baloyi and Fana will fight for the vacant IBF junior lightweight title. Mthalane will defend his IBF flyweight strap against Tete, while Ndlovu and Mathebula will slug it out in an IBF junior featherweight title eliminator.

Lefele will be involved in a IBF mini flyweight title eliminator against an opponent who is still to be approved by the IBF.

Mabuza and Mbamba's opponents have also not been confirmed. Mbamba last fought on October 24 when he was defeated by Tomas Rojas for the interim WBC junior bantamweight title. Mabuza has not seen action since May last year when he was stopped just before the bell in the 12th round by Yohnny Perez in their IBF bantamweight title eliminator.

Boxing enthusiasts must start saving money now because tickets will not come cheap.

These promoters should be commended for keeping boxers active and fans entertained.

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