Matika set­tles into new role

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­

Erst­while Box­ing SA ring of­fi­cial Andile Matika is rel­ish­ing his new job as the fight com­mis­sioner for the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IBO).

One of the coun­try’s most ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sional box­ing ref­er­ees and judges, Matika (58), who is from Mdantsane in East Lon­don, has been ap­pointed by the world sanc­tion­ing body to over­see IBO bouts in the coun­try.

Since tak­ing up ref­er­ee­ing and judg­ing in 1988, he has been a fa­mil­iar sight at big tour­na­ments, where he is of­ten seen stop­ping box­ers from pound­ing one another in the square jun­gle. At times, he is seen judg­ing bouts.

But, th­ese days, Matika is al­ways spot­ted as­sum­ing a laid-back role of en­sur­ing that fight of­fi­cials stick to the rules of the IBO dur­ing the con­tests to en­sure that the bouts go smoothly.

He has de­cided to quit of­fi­ci­at­ing in lo­cal bouts to con­cen­trate on his IBO du­ties.

“IBO pres­i­dent Ed Levine phoned me from Fiji in De­cem­ber and asked me if I was in­ter­ested in be­ing their com­mis­sioner be­cause I have been in the game for a long time – I’ve of­fi­ci­ated in IBO con­tests since 2004. I jumped at the op­por­tu­nity,” said Matika.

“My role is to read the rules of the fights to the camps of both box­ers and ring of­fi­cials at the weigh-in a day be­fore the event. I also make the camps sign con­sent forms. “I en­joy my role very much.” Matika, who claims to re­ceive a stipend from the IBO for his role, said he also met with ring of­fi­cials on the day of the fight to en­sure they un­der­stood the rules be­fore the bouts got un­der way.

He su­per­vised the IBO light fly­weight ti­tle fight be­tween Hekkie “Hex­e­cu­tioner” Budler and Filipino Joey Canoy at Em­per­ors Palace last month. In De­cem­ber, he took charge of the IBO light­weight con­test be­tween Mzonke Fana and Ghana­ian Em­manuel Ta­goe at Bukom Arena in Ac­cra.

“Mzonke fought a good fight and col­lapsed due to high tem­per­a­tures at the venue. This was a tough as­sign­ment for me as a su­per­vi­sor.”

Matika’s next as­sign­ment as com­mis­sioner will be the IBO su­per fly­weight cham­pi­onship be­tween Gideon Buthelezi and Mex­i­can An­gel Aviles at the Ekurhu­leni In­door Sports Cen­tre in Kemp­ton Park on Fri­day.

“I would like to thank Box­ing SA’s East­ern Cape chair­per­son Phakamile Ja­cobs and former ref­eree Len Hunt for show­ing me the ropes on how to su­per­vise lo­cal fights.

“I’m where I am to­day be­cause of them,” said Matika.

My role is to read the rules of the fights to the camps of both box­ers and ring of­fi­cials ANDILE MATIKA

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