New box­ing hon­cho fights the good fight

Now that Le­jaka is boss, pro­mot­ers are pay­ing up and fight­ers are get­ting paid

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Box­ing South Africa (BSA) has out­lined a com­pre­hen­sive pro­gramme aimed at re­sus­ci­tat­ing the ail­ing sport. The gov­ern­ing body has been be­dev­illed by a spate of ad­min­is­tra­tive bun­gles, and the ap­point­ment of Tsholofelo Le­jaka by Sports Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula in June as BSA’s CEO could not have come at a bet­ter time.

Le­jaka said his ste­ward­ship of the na­tional box­ing con­trol­ling body is be­gin­ning to bear fruit, and the run­ning of the sport is on course to be well or­gan­ised.

He has been in charge for five months, and al­ready the body has out­lined the fol­low­ing goals on be­half of li­cencees:

Bet­ter pro­tec­tion and be­ing served pro­fes­sion­ally (purse money, li­cencee ben­e­fits, dis­pute res­o­lu­tion);

Ac­cu­rate and punc­tual in­for­ma­tion and up­dat­ing (BSA web­site, box­ing pub­li­ca­tion);

Struc­tured, ac­cred­ited and on­go­ing train­ing and ca­pac­ity build­ing;

Pro­fil­ing and pro­mot­ing more ag­gres­sively and sus­tain­ably; and

Hon­our­ing and re­ward­ing out­stand­ing per­for­mance of ex­cel­lent ser­vice (box­ing awards and rat­ings).

“As we are fast ap­proach­ing the end of 2016, these are top-of-mind is­sues. Of course, no magic bul­let is go­ing to re­solve them overnight,” Le­jaka said.

As part of the recog­ni­tion and re­wards pro­gramme, the na­tional box­ing awards were put back on the BSA cal­en­dar.

The awards, aimed at recog­nis­ing the ef­forts of box­ers, train­ers and other stake­hold­ers, have not been held for many years.

Le­jaka said that, as part of ef­forts to ap­pease li­cencees, BSA had started com­pen­sat­ing box­ers and of­fi­cials who par­tic­i­pated in tour­na­ments in which purse money was not paid.

Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndon­geni was not paid his R100 000 by Si­juta Pro­mo­tions’ Andile Si­dinile af­ter the fighter’s light­weight 10-round bout against Tan­za­nian Emilio Nor­fat at the Ori­ent The­atre in East Lon­don in April. An­other pugilist who fea­tured on that card and was not paid is Simphiwe “16V” Ve­tyeka, who ex­changed blows with Ja­panese feath­er­weight Tsuyoshi Tameda over 10 rounds. Ve­tyeka was owed R300 000. Le­jaka said: “BSA has al­ready started pay­ing Ndon­geni, and his last in­stal­ment will be be­fore the end of De­cem­ber.

“The same process is al­ready un­fold­ing for other box­ers as well.” Ndon­geni said: “BSA has al­ready given me the first pay­ment of R26 000.”

Le­jaka said the as­so­ci­a­tion had adopted an ap­proach of pay­ing com­bat­ants and of­fi­cials so they did not con­tinue to be in­con­ve­nienced and strained while the gov­ern­ing body was “pur­su­ing the re­spec­tive pro­mot­ers re­spon­si­ble”.

Le­jaka said that, as part of the recog­ni­tion and re­ward pro­gramme, the BSA box­ing awards were back on the box­ing cal­en­dar.

“The glo­ri­ous times are here again. The awards will be held in Dur­ban on Jan­uary 29, in part­ner­ship with the [SABC] and the KwaZulu-Natal de­part­ment of sports and re­cre­ation,” he said.

“The ini­tial ar­range­ment was for nom­i­na­tions to close at the be­gin­ning of Novem­ber, but this has now been ex­tended to De­cem­ber 9.”

He said a sem­i­nar was held in Elands­fontein, Ekurhu­leni, two weeks ago to make the sport more pro­fes­sional through in­creas­ing the com­pe­tence and in­tegrity of ring of­fi­cials.

“The sem­i­nar was at­tended by all our ref­er­ees, judges, time­keep­ers, in­spec­tors and other of­fi­cials – this was a re­fresher course. We also elected the in­terim na­tional lead­er­ship,” Le­jaka said.

He said BSA would con­tinue to con­sol­i­date and build on the ac­com­plish­ment of this year’s last se­mes­ter.

PHOTO: LEE WAR­REN / GALLO IM­AGES

SET­TLED:: Xolisani Ndon­geni is pleased that BSA will pay him for the fight that was pro­moted by Si­juta Pro­mo­tions at Ori­ent The­atre in April

PHOTO: GALLO IM­AGES

OP­TI­MIST BSA head Tsholofelo Le­jaka re­cently in­tro­duced new mea­sures aimed at mak­ing the sport great again

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