Value of SA titles compromised

Legendary boxer Brian Mitchell defends his title against Alfredo Layne at the Sun City superbowl.
Legendary boxer Brian Mitchell defends his title against Alfredo Layne at the Sun City superbowl.
Image: ST

From a spectator point of view, South African professional boxing is progressing because there are tournaments being held every week.

A deeper and more insightful analysis of this action-packed calendar will show that this so-called progress is merely a façade.

The Alphabet Soup is upon us, as all the nondescript world bodies have conspired to compromise the integrity of the South African title.

Granted, they have inherited this monstrous challenge from their predecessors but fact is the board is the one in charge at the moment.

These so-called governing bodies have quietly but surely usurped the mantle of the South African title. They are now the most sought-after boxing belts in modern day South African boxing.

The current Boxing South Africa (BSA) board needs to arrest this situation before it gets out of hand.

Consequently, no prospects are coming to contest South African titles. Pedigreed South African boxers are vying for meaningless regional titles because they have been misled - in that they are bigger and better than SA titles.

This has severely compromised the value of our national titles.

It is true that we need to benchmark SA titles. I hope renowned BSA chairperson Peter Ngatane, the current president of the ABU SADC, is listening.

For every tournament involving a regional, continental or international title there must necessarily be a national title fight on the cards. Back in the day, no boxer who was not a national champion and national title holder would challenge for international honours.

Formidable former world champion, our own Brian Mitchell, demolished every opponent at home before he defeated Alfredo Layne in South Africa to win the world title.

The great Brian Baronet - may his soul rest in everlasting peace - could not be allowed to contest the WBA junior-welterweight title because he was not the national champion.

Bereft of all chances he had to duel it out with the hard-living, hard-punching Arthur Mayisela.

Mayisela bewildered, bedazzled and destroyed Baronet over nine rounds of intense fighting. Back in the day South African champions were made of sterner stuff.

BSA must take stock, they must correct what is wrong in their midst.

We cannot have low-graded national titles because we have allowed all sorts of animals in our midst.

For crying out loud, nowadays there are promoters who blatantly refuse to stage South African titles.

I take my leave.