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Confusion cleared over WBC belt for SA

Plan to launch a local award hasn't been approved by the international body

WBC representative in South Africa Dr Peter Ngatane.
WBC representative in South Africa Dr Peter Ngatane.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

There is no WBC South Africa belt that will be presented to the winner of a boxing contest between former IBO junior featherweight champion Ludumo “9mm” Lamati and Tanzanian Haidari “Blue Fire Stone” Mchanjo on May 22 at Booysens Gym where the international fight will headline BRD Promotion’s tournament, WBC representative in SA Dr Peter Ngatane announced.

WBC SA representatives Larry Weinstein and Allan Norman had intended crowning the winner of that fight with the WBC SA belt which they said will be known as the Ubuntu belt. But they were still waiting for WBC president Maurico Sulamian to give them the go-ahead to launch their belt.

To some it was a good initiative to fast-track its champion for being considered by the WBC for its actual titles. But those who were sceptical of the formation of the WBC SA, which was launched in September, said it was a silent move aimed at weakening the authority of the board of Boxing SA.

They went so far as to say the real intention is to start a splinter regulatory boxing body which will steadily influence boxers to turn against the South African title and instead go for the WBC SA belt.

Ngatane said a virtual meeting was held on Wednesday between himself, Sulaiman, WBC chairman of international titles Mauro Betti and Norman regarding the WBC SA belt which had caused mixed reaction here.

“It was concluded that the winner of that fight will be presented with the Ubuntu trophy and that trophy will not be defended,” explained Ngatane, who made a joint statement which was issued after their virtual meeting on the matter.

It reads: “There has been a lot of confusion brought about by the so-called WBC  Southern Africa title that was claimed to be fought for on 22/5/2022. On the outset let me put your minds at rest; there is no WBC Africa title. The WBC Ubuntu belt which was proposed for the fight will be given as a trophy to the winner.

“The ABU still represents WBC in Africa. It is envisaged to have a special belt of the WBC for South African boxers; that will be controlled by and directed by the ABU. This will only happen if there is agreement with Boxing SA with which the president of the WBC will be communicating.”

Lamati is listed as the No 9 contender for the actual WBC belt which is held by American Stephen Fulton. Lamati is the No 1 contender for the ABU belt which is held by Tanzanian Tony Rashid, whose last defence was  on February 25 against Bongani Mahlangu. Rashid is rated at No 28 by the WBC.

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