Boxing SA refuses to clear Simba

Stephen Castle, left, exchanges blows with Flo Simba during their heavyweight clash at Emperors Palace. /Antonio Muchave
Stephen Castle, left, exchanges blows with Flo Simba during their heavyweight clash at Emperors Palace. /Antonio Muchave
Image: Antonio Muchave

Boxing SA (BSA) has an obligation, legal duty and moral duty to ensure the safety of boxers who participate in events sanctioned by the governing body.

This duty of care also extends to medical consideration and, until BSA is adequately assured of the medical safety of Flo "Demolition Man" Simba, it will not be able to issue any approval.

This was the response by BSA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka to Simba's legal representatives who wanted clarity from the body's failure to clear their client to fight.

This means that legally, Simba will not go ahead with the fight against  Justice "Venda Viper" Siliga in Swaziland on Friday night.

Simba was to oppose Siliga for a WBA Pan African vacant title.

Acting on the advice of doctor Stephen Selepe, the head of BSA's medical commission, the body turned down Simba's clearance because Selepe said the boxer was not fit medically.

Simba's lawyers response in a letter to BSA read: "Dr Selepe's decision is arbitrary with no foundation, particularly as Dr Selepe did not examine our client, nor are we aware on what basis Dr Selepe has come to the conclusion that our client is medically unfit to fight on November 2.

"Should Dr Selepe not immediately provide valid and legitimate reasons for his decision that our client is not medically fit to fight on 2 November 2018, our client's rights to proceed with legal action remain strictly reserved."

Simba has Type-1 diabetes and was given a special dispensation in his last fight on May 31, when he stopped Joshua Pretorius in four rounds.

Simba had been inactive for three years when he made a comeback in May.

His doctor, Derbie Gordon, monitored his sugar levels before and during that fight.

Lejaka wrote to the lawyers, saying: "Your client has a unique situation in that he has a chronic medical condition which requires specialised medical attention and customised medical support during his participation in a combat sport like boxing.

"Simba was given medical prerequisites which were clearly stipulated to him by Selepe which he didn't comply with. Simba was allowed to fight in May under a customised medical arrangement which included reassurance from the Centre of Diabetes and Endocrinology in Houghton and a specialist endocrinologist at ringside to continually monitor his medical condition."

Lejaka added: "In this specific application for your client's participation in a tournament of November 2, there has been no mention nor medical reassurance of any nature provided for our consideration, let alone the medical comfort of our chief medical officer with respect to your client's medical condition.

"In a nutshell, the reasons above remain our utmost concern and, with adequate assurance on how these are to be addressed during your client's participation in a tournament on Friday, we remain amenable to reconsider his application."

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