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Boxing | South Africa

Nkosinathi Joyi © Gallo Images

Branco boots out unification talk



Nkosinathi Joyi’s promoter has rejected the idea of a unification fight against Hekkie Budler.

It has been suggested that the IBF mini-flyweight champion and Budler, the IBO champion, should meet, but there seems to be no chance of such a fight coming off.

Promoter Branco Milenkovic said in Johannesburg on Tuesday the IBF, WBA, WBO and WBC did not recognise the IBO as a legitimate top-flight association.

"What's the point of Joyi fighting for a title that has little credibility?' he asked.

"What we are looking for is a fight for Joyi, who is ranked the top mini-flyweight in the world by Ring Magazine, against the likes of Kazuto Ioka, the WBC champion, Akira Yaegashi, the WBA champion, or Moses Fuentes, the WBO champion."

The suggestion of a unification bout between the two South Africans had come from another SA promoter, Rodney Berman.

Milenkovic dismissed the IBO as a lightweight organisation. He wants a unification bout for Joyi so that the East London-based fighter can be universally recognised as world champion.

Budler is not ranked among the top five mini-flyweights in the world by the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO.

Milenkovic claimed Berman had suggested a fight between Budler and Joyi as a "cheap publicity stunt".

He should have known we would never consider the idea," said Milenkovic. "If Budler wants to become a true world champion, he will have to challenge Joyi or one of the other recognised champions. There is no short-cut to a real title.

"Budler has already turned down an offer we made to him to fight Katsunari Takayama in an eliminator to fight for the IBF title.”

Joyi recently beat the Japanese fighter.

Berman feels there must be another reason for Joyi to avoid Budler. The Golden Gloves promoter said a fight between Joyi and Budler would be a great draw card because both fighters enjoy strong support.



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