BSA champs in a cor­ner

Chair­man says ti­tle hold­ers can kiss their di­adems good­bye if they don’t de­fend their sta­tus be­fore the end of the month SA champs get an ul­ti­ma­tum to de­fend ti­tles

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­

The Box­ing SA (BSA) sanc­tion­ing com­mit­tee has given 11 na­tional cham­pi­ons an ul­ti­ma­tum: Get into the ring, or kiss your ti­tles good­bye. Th­ese cham­pi­ons have un­til the end of the month to make manda­tory ti­tle de­fences or for­feit their cham­pi­onship belts. BSA sanc­tion­ing com­mit­tee chair­per­son Dr Peter Ngatane re­vealed the names to City Press this week.

The cul­prits are: Ryno Lieben­berg (light heavy­weight); Balemo Weliya (su­per mid­dleweight); Christo­pher Buthelezi (mid­dleweight); Nku­l­uleko Mhlongo (ju­nior mid­dleweight); Sean Ness (wel­ter­weight); Mzonke Fana (light­weight); Jasper Seroka (ju­nior light­weight); Macbute Sinyabi (feath­er­weight); Bon­gani Mahlangu (ju­nior feath­er­weight); Toto Helebe (ban­tamweight); and Bon­gani Silila (ju­nior fly­weight).

Ac­cord­ing to Ngatane, th­ese fight­ers have not put their cham­pi­onship belts on the line since they won them.

Many of the pugilists have in­stead opted to fight for the di­adems of bod­ies like the World Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion and In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IBO).

“The com­mit­tee has de­cided that the box­ers should have un­til May 31 to make a manda­tory de­fence, or else their crowns will be de­clared va­cant,” said Ngatane.

“Our view is that th­ese champs have not de­fended their ti­tles against manda­tory con­tenders for too long. They have un­til the end of the month to do so, or kiss their crowns good­bye.”

Ngatane pulled no punches. He said the pugilists would also not be al­lowed to take part in any box­ing matches with­out first putting their di­adems on the line.

“What this ba­si­cally means is that they will not even be al­lowed by the BSA to fight in in­ter­na­tional con­tests with­out first de­fend­ing against manda­tory chal­lengers,” said Ngatane.

How­ever, the ul­ti­ma­tum has been met with mixed feel­ings and op­po­si­tion.

Silila’s trainer, Boy Boy Mpu­lam­pula, said it was un­fair for his charge to be told when to de­fend.

“He last fought in Novem­ber against Vuyani Kh­eswa in a manda­tory de­fence. How can the BSA in­struct us for an­other manda­tory clash be­fore the end of the month? This is mad­ness and we won’t al­low that to hap­pen,” said Mpu­lam­pula.

Sinyabi said: “I don’t see my­self be­ing forced to de­fend at home be­cause I have been promised a good bout against a Mex­i­can op­po­nent to­wards the end of the month.”

Gaut­eng Light heavy­weight

KwaZulu-Na­tal Mid­dleweight

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