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Mantengu fumes at ring officials

IBF Continental Africa featherweight champion Innocent Mantengu is unhappy with BSA match officials.
IBF Continental Africa featherweight champion Innocent Mantengu is unhappy with BSA match officials.
Image: Supplied

Please note this article has been amended to include an apology. See the bottom of the page.


Former school teacher Innocent Mantengu, who swapped the chalk for boxing gloves, has finally broken his silence two months after his 12-round fight with Thato Bonokoane for the vacant South African junior featherweight title was wrongly declared a draw.

The regulation says: "In a championship fight for a vacant title, if a bout ends in a draw, each judge shall nominate a winner and the winner of that bout shall be the boxer nominated as the winner by the majority vote of the judges."

In a move to mop up the mess, BSA has announced that the two boxers must do it all over again in a rematch.

Mantengu holds the IBF Continental title while Bonokoane from Kagiso is the WBF Africa champion.

Mantengu from Mtubatuba in KZN said: "We go through a lot as fighters only to get treated like s*** by officials.

"BSA manager Archie Nyingwa [who was fight supervisor] knows the rules, and he should have done what is right. Let us say this happened to his child, how was he going to feel and what steps was he going to take?"

Mantengu also took a swipe at Thabo Spampool, who was the referee. "Thabo was against me from round one, threatening to stop the fight if I did not stop holding even when we were in clinches. He took me out of focus because I had to worry about him. What was his motive?" he asked.

Mantengu is well aware that he may be victimised for speaking out. He was, however, unfazed. "It is within my democratic rights to voice my unhappiness," said the boxer, who suggested that if officials are unhappy about what BSA pays them after tournaments, then they must face their bosses.



On 15 May 2019, Sowetan published an article titled “Mantengu fumes at ring officials” where we did not contact Thabo Spampool for comment. We apologise for the error.

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