No ‘slave wages’ as Hekkie turns down shot at title
HEKKIE Budler has spurned the offer of a crack at the IBF title with promoter Rodney Berman, saying he wouldn’t let him fight for “slave wages”.
Budler’s management team and Golden Gloves Promotions (GGP) had to weigh up the opportunity against the money on the table, terms they found untenable considering Budler’s status as a multiple world champion.
The IBO light-flyweight champion was offered $10 000 (approx R134 000) to fight Milan Melindo in the Philippines.
This was seen by his handlers as a derisory deal given the risks attached, plus his recent purses, which were far superior.
Moreover, were he to win, he would be locked into a twofight deal with the Fliipino’s management with terms that were equally ordinary.
In the first instance, he would have to grant Melindo a rematch for a $15 000 purse. In the second, he would earn $20 000 against an opponent mutually agreed by Melindo’s team and his own.
“It was a great opportunity, but those terms were so disappointing,” said trainer Colin Nathan. “I can’t allow Hekkie to enter into a slave contract.”
Berman was equally scornful, saying this was what happens to many fighters who aren’t properly handled.
“I’ve gone on record many times saying we are chasing down big unification fights, but I would be doing Hekkie a great disservice if I agreed to these terms.
“He’s a high-profile fighter, who has earned his status the hard way. It’s hard enough going to Asia to fight ... we’d only do so if the money made sense.”
Meanwhile, Manny Pacquiao has backed a call asking the WBO to review the controversial points decision that saw Australia’s Jeff Horn capture the Filipino great’s welterweight world title in Brisbane on Sunday.
Horn improved his unbeaten record to 17-0-1 after the judges scored the bout 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113 in the 29-year-old’s favour but many observers questioned the outcome, saying the officials had made a “hometown decision”.
While Horn dismissed criticism of his win, the regulatory body of professional sport in the Philippines, the Games and Amusement Board (GAB), requested a “thorough review” of the fight on Monday and the 38-year-old Pacquiao has backed their demand.
“WBO should take appropriate action on the letter sent by the GAB so as not to erode the people’s interest in boxing,” eight-division world champion Pacquiao said in a statement yesterday.
“On my part, I had already accepted the decision but as a leader and, at the same time, fighter, I have the moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness in the eyes of the public.”
“I love boxing and I don’t wanna see it dying because of (an) unfair decision and officiating.”
On Tuesday, the WBO said that the decision could not be reversed and highlighted the rematch clause in both fighters’ contracts.
“The discretion of a referee or judge cannot be reversed, except in a case of fraud or violation of laws, which is not the case in Pac vs Horn,” the organisation said on their Twitter account.
“The contract for Pac vs Horn provides a rematch clause, which the WBO is in accordance if the promoters decide to move forward.”
It was Pacquiao’s seventh loss in 68 bouts. – ANA and Reuters