BSA lays down rules for boxing titles

Balima Weliya, seen smashing Masixole Botile with a right cross several years ago, is a DRC Congo national who, according to the Boxing SA rules, is not entitled to fight for local titles. /MARK ANDREWS
Balima Weliya, seen smashing Masixole Botile with a right cross several years ago, is a DRC Congo national who, according to the Boxing SA rules, is not entitled to fight for local titles. /MARK ANDREWS

Any boxing promoter who puts forward a request for Boxing SA (BSA) to sanction a professional match that features Balema Weliya or any other non-South African boxer must read and understand the SA Boxing Act of 2001.

It stipulates that a contestant for a national or provincial title shall, among other things, be a South African citizen.

This warning was issued by BSA chief operations officer Cindy Nkomo who was reacting to a request by promoter Xolani Jamani to Boxing SA for his proposed vacant SA super middleweight title fight between Weliya and Renson "Baghdad" Hobyani.

Jamani, of Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, had intended staging this bout in Port Elizabeth two weekends ago.

Weliya comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo but is based in East London.

Nkomo said: "The application form that Weliya submitted for 2017 licensing period shows his nationality as Congolese. The copy of his ID document confirms that he is a Congolese national and that he has a refugee status in South Africa. His ID document - in line with the guidelines of ID numbers - are constructed from Home Affairs. It shows clearly that he is not a South African citizen. So he cannot fight for either a provincial or SA title."

Erstwhile BSA acting CEO Loyiso Mtya allowed Weliya to fight for the SA and Eastern Cape light heavyweight and super middleweight belts in 2010 and 2011. He lost both.

Weliya then met Goodman Jwili for the vacant SA super middleweight title which he won. He defended before losing the title to Lee Dyer in 2016.

Mtya attributed Weliya's situation to different interpretations of the SA Boxing Act, which he said was not clear.

Nkomo said: "I am not privy to what constituted the decision to allow Weliya to fight for provincial and SA titles, however my office seeks to ensure that all our processes are in line with the boxing regulations in that no previous mistakes are repeated in the manner that they occurred before."

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