For sale: IBF belt to pay school fees

2011-07-30 19:12

South Africa’s most credible black heavyweight boxer Siza Makhathini (52) is desperate.

He plans to ­auction his International ­Boxing Federation (IBF) intercontinental cruiserweight belt in order to make ends meet.

The former boxer blamed top ­promoter Rodney Berman for his plight.

He alleged that the promoter owed him about R200 000.

The money was accumulated in his fights against Glen McCrory, Dave Garside and James Pritchard, he said.

“Berman paid me far less than he promised me for those three fights,” said Makhathini.

“At the moment, I am in serious trouble financially and Berman played a major part in getting me where I am.”

Makhathini alleged that he was promised R150 000 for the fight against McCrory, R80 000 for ­Garside and R86 000 for Pritchard, but was paid “peanuts”.

Confronted with allegations that he was responsible for Makhathini’s ­poverty, Berman fumed: “I am sick and tired of this sh**.”

He said the boxer’s lack of courage had contributed to his situation.

“Makhathini is destitute because he lacked courage when he fought ­McCrory, going down and not getting up.

“I have heard enough of this ­rubbish and am no longer prepared to dignify it with a response.”

Makhathini also alleged that he was not the only boxer who had been ­impoverished by Berman.

However, the other boxers he ­mentioned could not be reached and thus their names could not be ­published.

Makhathini amazed the fight ­fraternity when he took veteran ­Bennie Knoetze to a 10-round ­distance in his fourth professional fight in their Transvaal heavyweight title fight.

He distinguished himself when he became the first South ­African to win the IBF cruiserweight crown in 1990.

This he accomplished through a great showing, outpointing ­Garside in London.

“In those days it was near ­impossible to beat a white man on points, particularly in his backyard, and I did it,” boasted Makhathini, the ­father of three.

His son Vusimuzi (20) said he was struggling to pay for his studies at the Academy of Sound Engineering in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

Makhathini’s wife, Sibongile, said she would approach ­Berman and make an impassioned plea for the money allegedly owed to her ­husband.

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