SA champs urged to de­fend crowns

CityPress - - Sport - – Pule Mokhine

The rat­ings com­mit­tee of Box­ing SA (BSA) has in­structed five na­tional cham­pi­ons to de­fend their ti­tles as soon as pos­si­ble – and abide by the gov­ern­ing body’s rules.

Ac­cord­ing to BSA rules, all the cham­pi­ons have to fight manda­tory chal­lengers at least a year af­ter win­ning the ti­tle.

The idle fight­ers are An­ton Nel (heavy­weight), Balemo Weliya (su­per mid­dleweight), Nku­l­uleko Mh­longo ( ju­nior mid­dleweight), Toto Helebe (ban­tamweight) and Siphosethu Mvula (su­per fly­weight).

Ac­cord­ing to the latest BSA rank­ings, which were re­leased this week, Nel, Weliya and Mh­longo last de­fended their crowns in 2013.

Helebe de­fended his ti­tle last year while Mvula has not put his cham­pi­onship belt on the line since win­ning the then va­cant ti­tle in 2013.

The 45-year-old Nel, who is a vet­eran boxer with 33 pro­fes­sional fights, last de­fended his crown against Sibu­siso Sibiya in the same year he won the then va­cant ti­tle.

Com­mit­tee spokesper­son Wil­lie Saay­man said it was dis­turb­ing that these fight­ers had not fought for na­tional crowns at home in a long time.

“We want to see them in ac­tion as soon as pos­si­ble. This is the rule. With box­ing now be­ing tele­vised live, we hope the fight­ers’ pro­mo­tional and man­age­ment teams will do all in their power to en­sure that ti­tles are de­fended,” he said.

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