Top promoters split over BSA’s new direction

2013-05-05 14:00

Migration strategy proving to be unpopular, and some say chief executive is incompetent

Branco Sports Productions boss Branco Milenkovic has asked for Boxing SA (BSA) chief executive Moffat Qithi to quit, saying he is incompetent.

“He must do the honourable thing and resign,” fumed Milenkovic.

This comes after Qithi told City Press last week that the regulator aspires to install a governance style identical to that of the US-based Nevada Athletic Commission.

The sentiment was contradicted by Milenkovic, who claims Qithi has failed to bring about the change he promised when he took office in 2011.

“The CEO did not just lie to the stakeholders at workshops but he misled the minister (Fikile Mbalula) as well,” charged Milenkovic.

“He has been in that post for two years and his term will expire next year but there aren’t any improvements in boxing.”

However, Showpony Promotions head Damian Michael came to Qithi’s defence, calling him a “clever man” with a clear vision to advance the sport.

Michael said: “Qithi is a better man and I believe in his vision. Boxing is a national sport therefore a national asset and all Qithi is trying to do is protect it from being highjacked by certain individuals.”

Qithi said he “will only resign when all stakeholders say so and not because of a certain few individuals”.

He further said: “Many stakeholders are happy with what we are doing but a selected few that want to dictate in boxing are fighting for their individual benefits.”

He added that those calling for his head were bluffing but were entitled to their opinions.

“We are not going to back down because we knew it was not going to be smooth sailing, and we are very clear on that,” he said.

Michael was “all for BSA being the intellectual property owners of boxing because it will break the walls that are hindering progress for the sport and opportunities for all”.

African Ring Boxing Magazine editor and boxing promoter Jeff Ellis took to Twitter.

“... and down the hill we go, BSA have really lost the plot,” he tweeted.

His view was echoed by international referee and judge Deon Dwarte, who asked: “Did they ever have the plot? BSA have what seems to be a vendetta against promoters, I see lawsuits coming.”

Ellis told City Press that boxing’s problems were deeper than changing the law and that the migration strategy was ­ one-sided.

Michael lambasted Golden Gloves Promotions boss Rodney Berman’s R1.1 million per show deal with Emperors Palace, calling it a “ massive monopoly”, adding that if it were not in place “we wouldn’t be here in the first place”.

Berman refused to comment but posted statements on his Twitter account indicating a view that disagrees with BSA’s envisaged 12% cut from a promoter’s broadcast rights income.

One of the tweets reads: “Nevada Athletic Commission has no jurisdiction to interfere with TV rights other than a commission of 5% with a maximum of $50 000!!!”

Michael lashed out at SuperSport communications manager and Golden Gloves publicist Clinton van der Berg for what he termed “a conflict of interests of note”.

He said Van der Berg was creating space for a “Golden Gloves propaganda platform” through the private broadcaster.

Van der Berg refuted Michael’s claims, and said: “SuperSport has an excellent relationship with its partners and frequently assists them, as do they, with requests of mutual interest.

“SuperSport has a long-standing relationship with Golden Gloves, of which we are proud”.

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