Bonus brings joy for Joyi
Johannesburg - IBF mini-flyweight champion Nkosinathi Joyi has received a financial lifeline from promoter Branco Milenkovic and the Eastern Cape government.
Joyi, regarded as South Africa’s best boxer, pound for pound, has had only three bouts in the past three years, earning much less than a fighter of his class should.
Milenkovic confirmed on Friday that Joyi had received about R150 000 for winning his title defence against Japan's Katsunari Takayama in East London last month.
It was Joyi's first fight in 14 months after a previous bout against Takayama was declared a no-contest because the Japanese fighter suffered a cut in the third round.
Joyi's earnings from boxing in the past year amounted to less than the R150 000 he picked up from their second encounter.
"It's a shame when one of South Africa's leading professional sportsmen has so little to show for his talents," Milenkovic said on Friday.
He added that an offer for Joyi to fight in Mexico was being considered.
"In conjunction with the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board, one of the sponsors of the East London tournament, we have come up with a scheme that will result in Joyi doubling the money he received for the Takayama fight."
Milenkovic said Joyi's prowess was scaring potential opponents, reducing his number of possible fights.
Recent efforts to secure a money-spinning title unification bout had been unsuccessful because the champions recognised by other associations are unwilling to fight Joyi.
"Boxing in South Africa generally needs more financial backing from government agencies and the private sector to bring back the boom periods of past years," Milenkovic said.
Top fighters had to try fighting abroad to bolster their earnings, he added.