Boxing punishment index lambasted

Xolani Mvubu, left, was allowed into the ring to fight while the rules and regulations governing the fistic sport were not fully complied with./ Nick Lourens
Xolani Mvubu, left, was allowed into the ring to fight while the rules and regulations governing the fistic sport were not fully complied with./ Nick Lourens

Boxing SA's chief operating officer Cindy Nkomo is not aware of any disregard for rules pertaining to the punishment index as well as recommendations made by tournament supervisors and ringside doctors regarding injured boxers.

There have been accusations from licensees that boxing has become an Animal Farm, where all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. The beef is that some boxers get punished badly in bouts, get suspended but are back in the ring before one knows it.

The licensees made an example of Xolani Mvubu, who was knocked out by Alfonso Tissen for the ABU belt in March. He was back seven months later for a WBF International middleweight title fight, only to retire in the sixth round against France Ramabolu early last month.

Mvubu had always fought in the junior-middleweight ranks and concern was what criteria was used to sanction him for a title fight in a weight division he has not fought in, especially coming from a loss.

Mvubu was back in action again last week and was stopped in the eighth round by Augustine Mutata in Kagiso.

Nkomo said regulation 17 stipulates the time period a boxer needs to rest.

"If you fought less than six rounds, you cannot take a fight within 14 days. From six to 10 rounds you cannot take a bout within 21 days. If a boxer was involved in a fight that lasted more than 10 rounds, they need a 30 days break.

"If the one who knocked out his opponents gets appointed by a promoter for another bout, he or she can request BSA for permission because the regulation gives us permission to consider allowing a boxer to step in the ring," Nkomo said.

"The regulation has provision for cancellation of a licence or suspension due to punishment. Boxers sustaining knockout blows to the head will be suspended for 90 days.

"The punishment index form must be completed by a tournament supervisor. It has a 0-4 punishment index - 0. (did not sustain any beating), 1. (could be moderate blows), 2. (you got some mild punishment), 3. (severe punishment), and 4. (very severe punishment).

"Four means an automatic 60 days suspension. When a boxer is suspended, whether for 30 or 60 days, they must not go to the gym. They can keep active but definitely no sparring. When that period is over, they can go back and exercise as normal, unless there were serious restrictions given by a doctor. For an example, to do eye-tests and brain scans."

In the event a boxer retires in their corner, "the punishment index is 2, and "we will go with a recommendation made by a ringside doctor,

"For a tournament to be sanctioned, a promoter sends an application form to a provincial manager, who then requests certain compliances, including the full bill.

"The provincial manager then does compliance requirements and forwards the application to the operation office. We then go for the bill and get into specifics.

"We request a challenge form - as per regulations - if it is a provincial or national title fight. For any challenge to be considered by the sanctioning committee, the challenger must confirm that his or her last three consecutive fights must be in the same division which you are challenging for."