Pension windfall for Bergman

Retired former WBU welterweight champion Jan "Kid Gavilan" Bergman will soon be smiling all the way to the bank thanks to the IBF, which has sorted out his pension.

IBF-Africa president Onesmo Ngowi told Sowetan about Bergman's good fortune.

The Tanzanian said the office of the New Jersey-based sanctioning body informed him that Bergman would be among the former world champions getting pensions.

He said the money was deducted by the IBF from Bergman's two fights - the first a sixth-round knockout defeat by former IBF junior lightweight holder Kosta Tszyu in 1996 and the second a fourth-round knockout by American Zab Judah for the junior welterweight belt in 2000.

"Such is the IBF's caring for its champions, both former and current," said Ngowi.

The 45-year-old South African, a renowned left-hook specialist, confirmed the news yesterday.

"The IBF communicated with me regarding my pension money. I have already sent back the form they wanted me to fill in. I will be getting the money in two weeks' time," said Bergman.

He said he wished he won at least one of those two IBF title fights.

"That would have meant good money," he said tongue in cheek. "But the truth is, in our days we never thought of putting something away for dark days. We lived for today."

The IBF has a policy that every time a boxer fights for its title, a certain amount of his purse money gets deducted and invested on his behalf.

The boxers only get it once they are retired. Retired former IBF junior bantamweight champion Sphiwe "Golden Master" Nongqayi recently received his pension.

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