Boxing SA chief wants national champions to earn same as Springboks

David Isaacson Sports reporter
Boxing SA acting CEO Mandla Ntlanganiso addresses a press conference in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Boxing SA acting CEO Mandla Ntlanganiso addresses a press conference in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Image: David Isaacson

Boxing South Africa’s (BSA) acting CEO Mandla Ntlanganiso said on Tuesday he wants fighters at the centre of the fistic ecosystem ultimately earning the same as their overseas counterparts.

National champions should be on a par with Springbok rugby players, he said.

The goals he outlined at a press conference at the troubled regulator’s offices in Pretoria read more like a wish list, but he spoke about launching programmes to uplift a sport that was once one of the top mainstream codes in the country.

“The central and the main stakeholder is the boxer. Without fear or favour, boxers must be the biggest winners and highest financial beneficiaries in the sport of boxing so they can comfortably sustain their lives.”

One plan is getting former champions involved in an ambassador programme to help mentor active boxers.

“It is no secret these are the legends who have put South Africa on the global map and it will be naive of us not to let them play a role in this new evolution.”

He acknowledged the sport in South Africa was lagging when it came to activity, skills and sponsorships.

“We have a low activity rate in the country, where most boxers fight no more than two fights a year or less compared to the international counterparts, who fight more than four times a year. This is an anomaly that must be changed.

“Analysing the top 15 rankings in all 17 divisions in the world, South Africa currently has 10 boxers. We need to work very hard to make sure this picture is different.”

Only four of those 10 rated boxers held South African titles.

Ntlanganiso also wants to bring value back to the national championship and said they were looking at redesigning the belt.

BSA is operating without a board after the executive appointed by sports minister Zizi Kodwa was interdicted last month by a group of promoters who claimed they had not been consulted, as required by the Boxing Act.

While operations will continue as normal, the legislation requires the board to make all high-level decisions.

Ntlanganiso said Kodwa was handling the legal matter, but was unable to say what would happen.

One result is that the ratings and sanctioning committees appointed by the previous board would continue to operate.

It has been suggested BSA might have to continue for a few months before this impasse might be settled.

Ntlanganiso spoke about the need to find sponsors, but transforming that to reality is the million dollar question.

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