BSA defends itself for helping pay purses

‘Government refunds our money’

BSA acting CEO Nsikayezwe Sithole.
BSA acting CEO Nsikayezwe Sithole.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

There is nothing unbecoming when Boxing SA pays fighters’ purses from its own coffers while still waiting for government departments to deliver on commitment in writing to assist promoters financially.

This is according to BSA acting CEO Nsikayezwe Sithole, who responded yesterday when asked how will licensees view their action of paying fighters that participated in two international tournaments – the first leg of the Rise of Women in Boxing tournament in Durban and the Celebration of Mandela as a Boxer in Soweto early this month.

“This is simple – those tournaments were funded by government and I read that we flouted rules by allowing them to go ahead when purses had not been deposited,” he said.

“We as BSA are a government entity; provincial governments are our partners in the development of boxing and over so we are working towards a common goal.

“Now when a promoter produces a letter where government is committing to fund that particular tournament, you can’t cancel that tournament and allowing it to continue has nothing to do with disregarding or flouting regulations.

“One thing is certain: we will get that money promised, so that is why we then pay purses. We have done this in the past and we are still doing it. Some of the boxers have already been paid and other purses will be processed tomorrow.”

Sithole confirmed that BSA paid fighters who participated in Rumble Africa Promotions (RAP) international tournament headlined by a legitimate world boxing title – the IBF junior flyweight between Sivenahi Nontshinga and Reggie Suganob – at East London’s International Convention Centre on July 2.

That decision was informed by the financial pledge made to RAP by both the Eastern Cape sports department and the office of sports minister Zizi Kodwa to assist RAP financially after RAP CEO Nomfesane Nyatela had pleaded for help.

The provincial government promised to deposit R900,000 to BSA while Kodwa’s office pledged R1m.

But both departments have yet to honour their promises. The regulator then paid boxers.

“Provincial governments are our stakeholders,” said Sithole. “Time and time again we rely on them; most of our promoters struggle to secure funding from the private sector and get assisted by provincial governments.

“For an example, there is a grant from the Eastern Cape provincial government for development of boxing there and it is with us. That shows you how involved provincial governments are in boxing.”

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