Gloves off over staging title fight

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

Boxing SA has urged promoters Meme Dipheko and Thembalethu Ntuthu to resolve their dispute over the staging of a title fight not later than tomorrow.

This relates to the rights to stage the SA junior featherweight title fight between champion Innocent Mantengu and mandatory challenger Ayabonga Sonjica.

Dipheko's Team Dida promotes Mantengu, while Sonjica's career is guided by Ntuthu's Rumble Africa Promotions.

Dipheko wants to stage the fight in October in Kagiso, on the West Rand, where she always stages her tournaments. Ntuthu, on the other hand, wants to organise the same bout in East London next month.

A statement leaked to Sowetan reads: "Should there still be a dispute, for whatever reason, on the matter, BSA will immediately take action and may open a bidding process for the staging of the bout to any promoter interested in line with the dictates of the Boxing regulations.

"It remains our hope that both promoters in this matter will find an amicable settlement to ensure that the interests of boxing and the boxers in question are prioritised and that the prestige of the national title is not undermined in the process."

Dipheko believes she has the rights to stage the fight as she promotes the champion boxer. Ntuthu, on the other hand, believes that by virtue of controlling Sonjica, he has the rights to stage the fight.

Mantengu won the title on June 28 and that victory over Thato Bonokoane placed Mantengu in a mandatory status, which means he must defend against the No 1 contender and that is Sonjica.

This was apparently confirmed in
writing to Mantengu's management on June 29.

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