Promoters spar over fighters

2009-08-26 09:23

BARELY days after IBF welterweight champion Isaac Hlatshwayo left Nic Durandt

for Manny Fernandez, it emerged that Golden Gloves Promotions (GGP) had

allegedly attempted to wrest him from Branco Sports Productions (BSP).

BSP alleges that Hlatshwayo is among five fighters approached by GGP


A string of letters written to GGP by BSP’s lawyers indicate that Hlatshwayo,

Takalani Ndlovu and two Gert Strydom fighters have been enticed by Rodney

Berman’s GGP outfit.

Strydom’s fighters who have allegedly been lured are SA bantamweight champion

Klass Mboyane and IBF junior lightweight titleholder Malcolm Klassen, who is

jointly trained with Nic Durandt.

According to Branco Milenkovic, IBF mini flyweight mandatory challenger

Nkosinathi Joyi has also been targeted.

In the three letters, BSP’s lawyers have threatened legal action against

Berman’s GGP: “. . . our instructions are to strongly advise that your offices

refrain from directly and/or indirectly enticing and/or soliciting any boxers

that are contracted to our client,” read the letter.

Milenkovic said he had to take cautious measures by protecting his rights


“I have been reliably told that Rodney has been phoning Isaac since he

returned from the US. But Rodney did not do anything for Isaac when he was still

his promoter, except for empty promises.

“As an experienced promoter, I had to put a notice to Golden Gloves to let

them know that I will protect my rights legally as I have contracts endorsed by

BSA with the boxers.”

Hlatshwayo joined BSP from GGP early this year, and his contract ends in

February 2011.

Klassen and Ndlovu, who were also previously with GGP, are contracted to BSP

until July 2011.

Joyi, who is promoted by Milenkovic jointly with Siphato Handi, has a

contract that expires at the end of 2010.

Berman did not deny making contact with Hlatshwayo.

“Branco has got some phobia, an insecurity that makes him act like a mafia

boss. Nobody is going to stop me from talking to whoever I want to talk to, but

I am not going to interfere with valid contracts.”

Berman said he had always been close with Hlatshwayo, and that he phoned the

fighter after his IBF triumph because “it was a great achievement”.

“I am just sick of all this rubbish from Branco. He has got an inflated

opinion of his own importance in boxing.

“He should just concentrate on his own boxers and stop worrying about what

Golden Gloves is doing,” said Berman.

Hlatshwayo could not be reached for comment as his phone was switched


Milenkovic said he had no problem with Hlatshwayo’s decision to join

Fernandez, and that he had nothing to do with it.

“Unlike my rival (Berman), I do not force boxers to be trained or managed by

anyone. If Isaac wants to go anywhere, I won’t stop him.

“It was his decision.”

Milenkovic said this was also his view when six-time world champion Cassius

Baloyi left Durandt for Fernandez three months ago.

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