Boxing SA Ratings Chair Resigns Over Board Decision On Unrated Fighter

Boxing SA Ratings Chair Resigns Over Board Decision On Unrated Fighter - The Times Post
Boxing SA Ratings Chair Resigns Over Board Decision On Unrated Fighter.

One fallout from the Boxing South Africa (BSA) board’s weekend decision to allow an unrated fighter to challenge for a national title came in the form of a resignation letter on Monday from the regulator’s rating committee chair.

Andre de Vries confirmed that he had written to the regulator’s chairperson Luthando Jack, telling him of his intention to quit at the end of September.

The board, adjudicating an appeal by promoter Ayanda Matiti, on Saturday overturned its sanctioning committee by awarding title status to the junior-lightweight showdown between top contender Asanda Gingqi and unrated Sifiso Hlongwane in Soweto on Sunday.

Gingqi lifted the vacant South African title on a unanimous decision at the Orlando community hall, and though it was a close affair with all three judges separating the fighters by only two points, the boxing regulations don’t permit unrated fighters to challenge for South African belts.

“Sanctioning this fight is an affront to the ratings committee,” De Vries told reporters. “It makes a mockery of the ratings and the time and effort that goes into compiling them.”

Hlongwane had not beaten any rated fighters to justify placing him among the junior-lightweight contenders, De Vries added.

One argument doing the rounds supporting the board’s decision was unrated fighters had been allowed to challenge for national belts before, notably Juan Roux who took the South African heavyweight crown from Tian Fick in mid-December 2021.

Roux’s name had not appeared in the national ratings for November 2021, but on December 4 he had stopped Wilhelm Nebe, a rated fighter at the time to earn a spot in the rankings.

“The South African ratings is a living document,” said De Vries, who also works as representative for the US-based International Boxing Federation and maintains records of local boxers.

It’ll be interesting to see how BSA, which has not kept its own records of fighters for about two decades, will cope without De Vries and his extensive database.


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