New-look box­ing body pulls its weight

CityPress - - Sport - Pule Mokhine pmokhine@city­

The ap­point­ment of new of­fi­cials to run the af­fairs of Box­ing SA (BSA) seems to be bear­ing fruit.

Over the past few years, the state of pro­fes­sional box­ing has been in the throes of a crunch­ing knock­out be­cause of poor ad­min­is­tra­tion and bungling of­fi­cials.

Then came a bold step in June when Sports Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula in­stalled Tsholofelo Le­jaka as the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s CEO, Tha­bang Moses as chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer and Sa­belo Silinga as di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions.

With­out try­ing to down­play the ef­forts made by other BSA mem­bers, Le­jaka’s ca­pa­ble stew­ard­ship is there for ev­ery­one to see and is be­gin­ning to yield pos­i­tive re­sults.

Dur­ing the six months that the new BSA ma­chin­ery has been op­er­a­tional, a num­ber of goals have been at­tained by the or­gan­i­sa­tion on be­half of li­censees.

The pro­tec­tion and great ser­vice from the as­so­ci­a­tion that box­ers are be­gin­ning to en­joy this year is un­prece­dented.

A clas­sic case in point was the de­ci­sion to com­pen­sate box­ers who had par­tic­i­pated in tour­na­ments this year but had not been paid their purse money.

The fight­ers in­cluded light­weight Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndon­geni, whose R100 000 was not paid by Si­juta Pro­mo­tions’ Andile Si­dinile af­ter a 10-round bout against Tan­za­nian Emilio Nor­fat at the Ori­ent Theatre in East Lon­don in April.

An­other fighter who was also helped by BSA, Simpiwe “12V” Ve­tyeka (feath­er­weight), had also fea­tured on the same card and was not paid R300 000 for his ef­forts in the ring.

There are a num­ber of other pugilists who were not given any­thing for fight­ing dur­ing con­tests this year. They will soon be smil­ing all the way to the bank, courtesy of BSA and Le­jaka.

This re­ally shows that the con­trol­ling body has the in­ter­ests of its li­censees at heart, and it’s a pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment.

But BSA must also act swiftly to get spon­sors for cham­pi­onship belts. Imag­ine win­ning a ti­tle and not hav­ing any­thing to show for your ex­ploits in the ring.

Surely BSA must pri­ori­tise this as a mat­ter of ur­gency? It’s bad for the image of box­ing.

The as­so­ci­a­tion must also en­sure that the rat­ings com­mit­tee does its job prop­erly. More of­ten than not, rat­ings are not up­dated, even if some fight­ers fought in a par­tic­u­lar month.

An­other com­mend­able stride taken by the new-look BSA this year was hon­our­ing and re­ward­ing out­stand­ing per­for­mances of ex­cel­lent ser­vices.

That is, award­ing box­ers, train­ers, pro­mot­ers and other key play­ers. The awards cer­e­mony will be held at Inkosi Al­bert Luthuli In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Dur­ban on Jan­uary 28.

For many years, South African fight­ers have been tear­ing one an­other up in the square jun­gle with­out their God-given tal­ent be­ing re­warded.

And the new BSA or­der has en­sured that the box­ing fra­ter­nity will have some­thing re­mark­able to en­thuse about.

An­other pos­i­tive step brought about by the new regime this year was the ag­gres­sive stag­ing of box­ing tour­na­ments through­out the prov­inces via the Box­ing is Back cam­paign.

This year has seen more fights at­tract­ing much fan­fare com­pared with pre­vi­ous years, sim­ply be­cause of the new-look BSA’s com­mend­able en­thu­si­asm in run­ning the sport.

With such pos­i­tive drive to in­ject life into box­ing, next year could yield even bet­ter re­sults for the ad­min­is­tra­tion of box­ing.

Keep those punches com­ing, Le­jaka and com­pany.

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