BSA official and promoter spar over non-approval of title fight

2011-03-26 19:25

An unfortunate altercation that further presses local boxing against the ropes has transpired between a promoter and a Boxing South Africa (BSA) official.

Promoter Siphatho Handi has ­unleashed verbal combinations against sanctioning committee chairperson Solly Selebi, saying the boxing boss is “not in the game to serve the interest of licensees but to advance the comfort of certain individuals”.

The verbal combat between the two men erupted after the non-approval of the South African featherweight ­title fight between Sabelo Jubata and challenger Simphiwe Tom.

Handi had applied to stage that particular fight.

The fight was meant to take place on April 30, but Selebi argued ­vehemently that the bout would not be staged on that day and Jubata would, therefore be deposed.

BSA’s regulation states that the champion should defend the title within 90 days of winning it, and that period expires on April 30. ­

Jubata last fought on October 30 last year when he successfully ­defended his title with a sixth round knockout against Malibongwe Thoba.

The title fight was originally ­pencilled in for March 30, but had to be cancelled after Jubata twisted his ankle during training on December 28 last year.

The champion, according to Handi, saw a doctor who treated him and a medical report was subsequently ­submitted to BSA.

The authorities rejected the ­authenticity of the report on the grounds that it was “not valid” and referred Jubata to another doctor, who found the injury suspicious.

Handi said: “I am displeased that our medical certificate, stating that our fighter needed eight weeks to heal before he could resume fighting was ignored.

“Mzimasi’ (Mnguni), unlike other promoters, is often given preferential treatment,” Handi said.

Selebi, a devastating verbal counter- puncher, unleashed a barrage of attacks against Handi, dismissing him as a promoter who “sticks his long nose into business that does not ­concern him”.

Selebi was earlier entangled in an acrimonious spat with ­promoter ­Rodney Berman over two shows that were scheduled to take place last night.

Handi is the promoter of Mamali Productions and the approval of his boxers’ fights, including Jubata, who is in dispute, are in the hands of ­Selebi as the chairperson of the ­sanctioning committee.

Selebi said: “BSA does not communicate with promoters but with champions because they are the ones who go ­into the ring to fight.”

Handi, who described Selebi as a ‘‘proxy”, charged that he (Selebi) was in the game to destroy boxers and get favours for his cronies.

“Jubata is a success story of a ­rehabilitation programme and Selebi wants to destroy him.

“He is the first former prisoner to become a national champion and ­unfortunately Selebi does not ­appreciate that, but treats his friends with kid gloves.”

Selebi pointed out that the ­“sports and recreation minister (Fikile Mbalula) appointed me ­because he is aware that I have ­credibility”.

Handi emphasised that he would “move heaven and earth” to ensure that his fighter was not stripped of his title.
Selebi stuck to his guns, arguing that “Jubata will be stripped off his ­title, no matter what the deluded Handi threatens”.

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