Berman forced to change tactics amid SA boxing chaos
Unsurprisingly, the poor state of local boxing administration is hurting the very people it purports to serve – the boxers themselves.
In a dramatic announcement on Monday, promoter Rodney Berman warned that if the uncertainty and legal impasse strangling the Boxing SA commission continues, he will be forced to shift the Ricardo Malajika-Marcel Braithwaite IBO title fight overseas.
This is despite planning for it to take place at Emperors Palace in March, an impossible plan given that SA boxing has no viable commission due to court action. Two office bearers are manfully trying to keep the show on the road, but are hamstrung by legal impediments.
It is an issue that irks Berman.
“It’s a huge problem causing immense hardship, for the only people really affected – the boxers. I fail to understand the impasse. If everyone really had the interest of the boxers at heart, there is in my opinion a very simple solution,” he argued.
His three-step solution is:
1. Both parties consent to withdrawing the court action.
2. The “old” commission is reinstated temporarily pending the appointment of a new commission.
3. The minister immediately reinstates the correct procedural process for the appointment of a new commission.
“Not only would this be the more sensible course of action, but also far quicker and far less expensive than the costs of a law suit.”
With so much at stake, Berman is understandably peeved at the state of play which has left boxers high and dry. He’s already postponed his March event to April 4, but is prepared to ship Malajika overseas if there is still no commission in place by then.
He is anxious that young boxers like promising light-heavyweight Dylan Prosser and Clifford Louw, another light-heavyweight (trained by Ryno Liebenberg) will lose valuable time away from the ring when he was planning to showcase them at Emperors Palace.
It will require a re-jig of considerable scope, especially with so many boxers to consider.
Indeed, Golden Gloves is already planning a major card for May, headlined by Roarke Knapp in a major bout and a junior-middleweight twist on the undercard, but much of this is speculative.
Not until the Boxing SA mess is cleaned up can any meaningful action take place.
As ever, it is the fighters themselves who stand to lose the most.