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
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