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Boxing | South Africa

Loyiso Mtya © Gallo Images

Boxing SA change contract rules

Boxing SA have made it illegal for promoters to sign up boxers to fight exclusively under their banner.

BSA acting chief executive Loyiso Mtya said this on Thursday at a briefing to formalise next year's Rumble on the Rock tournament honouring former president Nelson Mandela.

"It is a major step we have taken because too many boxers who are under these exclusive contracts – even some leading fighters – have been starved of action while tied to a single promotional organisation that is unable to secure suitable fights for them."

Mtya said existing contracts would be honoured because of legal implications.

"In the past, even world champions, in some instances, have spent months and even years out of the ring because their contracted promoters were unable to come up with suitable fights.

"Boxers are entitled to use their talent to make a living commensurate with their ability and should not be stifled by promoters who will not let them enter the ring under a rival's banner."

The decision was a milestone, said Peter Smith, the manager and trainer of Chris van Heerden, who is due to defend his IBO welterweight title against England's Matthew Hatton on Showpony's "Rumble on the Rock" bill in March.

"Chris spent eleven months kicking his heels while listening to promises about fights that were supposed to be organised for him," said Smith.

"Finally, we managed to secure a release by mutual consent from the promotional contract we had signed and Showpony came up with an attractive offer for the Hatton fight."

Promoters say they are severely hampered by the limited finance available for boxing in South Africa.

"This makes it extremely difficult to lure top overseas fighters to South Africa," said BSP's Branco Milenkovic.

"In the circumstances, we have been forced to look towards overseas exposure for our boxers.”


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