‘Unpaid’ fighter dumps IBO title

Boxing gloves (File)
Boxing gloves (File)

Cape Town - In an unexpected move, Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni has dropped a bombshell by vacating his International Boxing Organisation (IBO) lightweight title.

He says he is broke because he hasn’t been paid R100 000 for a fight in April.

The 25-year-old fighter said he would channel his energy into fighting in 10-round, nontitle contests to keep himself going.

The pugilist, who was born in Duncan Village, East London, and trains in Johannesburg, said he was not paid money due to him by promoter Andile Sidinile of Sijuta Promotions.

This happened after he knocked out Tanzanian Emilio Norfat in the first round of their nontitle clash at Orient Theatre in East London.

The devastating blow comes 15 months after he was not paid R1 million in prize money, which is owed to him by promoter Dicksy Ngqula – he won the Premier Boxing League title in East London in February last year.

“I’ve decided to relinquish the crown because I do not have any money to pay sanctioning fees when I defend my title,” Ndongeni said from the Hot Box Gym in Glenhazel.

“It’s no use being a world champ who doesn’t have any money to show for it. I feel short-changed by Sijuta, and the best thing for me is to fight in 10-rounders until I recover financially and challenge for another crown.”

The charismatic fighter, who remains unbeaten in 21 fights, came to Johannesburg in March last year to campaign for Golden Gloves.

Although Nomeva could not disclose how much the sanctioning fee was, he said he would be better off competing in non-championship contests for now.

“At least I will get better money than having to defend my belt and pay a lot of money in sanctioning fees and other costs as a champ.”

About his purse from Ngqula, the boxer said he was told the matter was still with the lawyers.

Contacted for comment, Sidinile said Ndongeni’s money had been paid.

“All I can say is that Nomeva and other fighters who fought on my bill were paid,” he said.

Nomeva stopped Jasper “Jazzman” Seroka in the ninth round to win the IBO crown at East London’s Selborne Recreation Ground in November.


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