BSA about to KO inactive champs
National boxing champions may lose their titles after failing to meet the May 31 deadline to make mandatory defences.
The Boxing South Africa (BSA) sanctioning committee has vowed to clamp down on fighters who have not put their championship belts on the line.
The committee gave 11 pugilists until the end of last month to make mandatory defences or kiss their crowns goodbye.
According to BSA sanctioning committee chairperson Dr Peter Ngatane, the committee had a list of some of the pugilists who were about to be stripped of their crowns for not defending them.
The culprits are Ryno Liebenberg (light heavyweight), Balemo Weliya (super middleweight), Christopher Buthelezi (middleweight), Nkululeko Mhlongo (junior middleweight), Sean Ness (featherweight), Mzonke Fana (lightweight), Jasper Seroka (junior lightweight), Macbute Sinyabi (featherweight), Bongani Mahlangu (junior featherweight), Toto Helebe (bantamweight) and Bongani Silila (junior flyweight).
Ngatane told City Press some of the fighters had written to ask for an extension of the deadline of their title defence to June 30.
“Some of the letters in our possession are from boxers who have requested an extension of the deadline to defend.
“We are going through those letters,” he said.
“Those who have not yet communicated with us will definitely lose their crowns at the end of this month.”
But he could not disclose who the individual pugilists or representatives who had come forward were.
Trainer Colin Nathan said he had asked for his charges Liebenberg and Ness, who hold national light heavyweight and welterweight crowns respectively, to be afforded an extension.
“I wrote to BSA last month requesting that my boxers be given till the end of May to sort out their title defence, and they haven’t responded yet,” said Nathan.
A copy of the letter, dated May 9 2016, is in City Press’ possession. Ngatane acknowledged receipt of the letter.
Many of the national title holders have not put their crowns on the line since winning them.
This has put the credibility of the ratings committee in doubt.
Many boxers have instead opted to contest championships related to organisations such as the World Boxing Federation and the International Boxing Organisation (IBO).
Sinyabi, the holder of the IBO international featherweight title, won the national crown by beating Oscar Chauke on points at Orient Theatre in November. He has not staked his national championship yet and seems unperturbed about the prospect of losing his national diadem.
“Let BSA take their title. I don’t need it because my focus at the moment is fighting for the IBO crown,” said Sinyabi.
According to the ratings, Fana won the crown in March last year. He last fought three months ago, when he beat Vusumzi Bokolo in a title defence at Orient Theatre.
The BSA sanctioning committee this week released its latest rating list.
According to its chairperson, Willie Saayman, the title-holders were still on the list.
“I have not yet received any directive from the BSA sanctioning committee to remove any fighters from the list.
“So their names still appear as champions,” he said.
A notable change in title is that of Anton Nel.
He surrendered his title to Osborne Machimana after being knocked out in the fourth round at the Birchwood Hotel in Brakpan two weeks ago.
Nel, who is now retired, had reigned supreme since 2013.
SERIOUS Dr Peter Ngatane, BSA sanctioning committee chairperson, says inactive champions will be stripped of their titles at the end of this month
VETERAN Mzonke Fana defended his title in March
INACTIVE Buthelezi Christopher
PARDON Ryno Liebenberg
TITLE Junior lightweight Jasper Seroka