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Promoter hits back at Durandt

2013-08-07 19:30
Nick Durandt (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Boxing Sports Promotion's Branco Milenkovic hit back at trainer Nick Durandt on Wednesday over IBF champion Moruti Mthalane's mandatory title defence in Germany, for what was described as "peanuts."

South Africa's longest incumbent world boxing champion and one of the most respected internationally, Mthalane will make his IBF flyweight title defence against Romanian-born Spaniard Silvio Olteanu in Frankfurt next month for a modest R85 000 purse.

Durandt earlier described the successful R110 000 overall purse bid by German promoters SES as one of the lowest he could recall in recent times for a world title fight, and a sad reflection on the state of South African boxing and local promoters.

"Even at this ridiculously low bargain rate, no South African promoter took part in the IBF bidding process that was held in New York," he said.

"Mthalane is one of South Africa's most respected boxers, yet no local promoter was prepared to lay out a R110 000 purse in order to allow him the deserved chance of making a title defence in his own country."

However, Milenkovic refuted the claim and said BSP had offered Mthalane a R500 000 purse, but that it had been turned down by his handlers.

"The truth of the matter is that, following the expiry of my two-year contract with Mthalane in February, after which time he received guaranteed purse money of over R2 million for four fights, his handlers refused to renew the contract, presumably over the mistaken belief that other promoters would fall over themselves in offering better terms," he said.

"It never happened that way, but I was still prepared to offer Mthalane a sum of R1m for two more fights, including the mandatory title defence and Nick turned it down.

"Now he has been left with egg on his face while Mthalane will fight for peanuts in Germany."

Durandt said the nuggety, Johannesburg-based boxer, who has held the IBF title since 2009, had become frustrated by the lack of action.

He had not fought since gaining a stunning, eighth round tko victory over the fancied Ricardo Nunes at the Roberto Duran Arena in Panama City in September.

"Milenkovic has misrepresented the facts," said Durandt.

"Any offers to fight under the BSP banner were dependent on a renewed contract being signed, and Moruti simply wanted to remain a free agent.

"So, if Branco truly wanted to stage Moruti's up-coming title defence, why wasn't he in New York for the purse bidding, when he could have got the fight for a lot less than he says he was offering?

"Moruti is rated fourth best flyweight in the world by the authoritative Ring magazine, and boasts a record of 29 wins from 31 fights, yet he has only defended his title four previous times in four years."

Durandt said there was generally a shortage of money in South African boxing, and fighters of Moruti's ability were not getting their just rewards.

Read more on:    nick durandt  |  moruti mthalane  |  boxing
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