Johannesburg - In a move aimed at helping the sport avoid having another black eye, as it were, Boxing SA (BSA) has decided to pay 15 boxers the money they are owed by promoters.
Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni was not paid his R100 000 by Sijuta Promotions’ Andile Sidinile after his 10-round lightweight fight against Tanzanian Emilio Norfat at Orient Theatre in East London on April 22.
Another fighter who featured on that bill and did not receive payment is Simpiwe “V12” Vetyeka (featherweight), who traded punches with Japan’s Tsuyoshi Tameda over 10 rounds. He was owed R300 000 by the same impresario.
Seven other boxers who fought under Sijuta and were not paid have been listed, while the other eight pugilists were owed money by Mamali Promotions.
Mzonke Fana was supposed to get R200 000 for the vacant World Boxing Federation intercontinental super featherweight title against Koos Sibiya at Mdantsane Indoor Centre in March last year. The fight was staged by Mamali and Fana got nothing.
According to BSA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka, fighters who campaigned under Sijuta would have their payments finalised before the end of this month, while those who fought under Mamali, owned by Siphatho Handi, have now received their first instalment of the three payments that will settle their entire bill.
Handi’s promoters’ licence has been revoked.
Lejaka said the governing body decided to reimburse the fighters to redress the imbalances of the past, where some contests went ahead without any money being deposited by promoters into BSA’s bank account for the showdowns to be staged.
In terms of the SA Boxing Act, a promoter must deposit the purse money with the BSA no later than 30 days prior to the tournament, or by any other date specified by BSA.
“Previously, BSA, out of courtesy and consideration, used to allow and accept written commitment from sponsors of promoters,” Lejaka said.
“This practice has now shown that this courtesy had flaws and could be abused, resulting in tournaments going ahead and promises not being honoured later.”
Former TV sports commentator Dicksy Ngqula, who organised the Premier Boxing League (PBL) in East London last February, owes Ndongeni, who secured the league title, R1 million.
Ngqula is yet to pay Makazole Tete (flyweight), Macbute Sinyabi (featherweight) and Toto Helebe (bantamweight) their promised R200 000 each.
“BSA had tried to intervene in the matter, but decided not to pursue it as the PBL issue was not about the prize money,” Lejaka said.
Ndongeni said BSA had already paid him the first tranche of R26 000. “This is great and it shows that BSA really takes boxers seriously.”
Fana said: “BSA says they will finish paying me by January. I can’t tell you how much I got at the moment because it’s personal.”
He said that “the CEO is doing his job properly”.