‘Nomeva’ fight dispute takes twist


The contract row involving Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni in the US took another twist after his US manager Luis Tapia claimed the boxer still has a promotional contract with Banner Promotions (BP) that blocks him from getting fights from other promoters.
Tapia was responding to the Daily Dispatch story which reported that he wanted to enforce his management contract he has with Ndongeni in his bout against Devin Haney last weekend.
Ndongeni lost a unanimous decision to Haney in a fight for the WBO intercontinental and WBC international lightweight titles televised on ShoBox in Shreveport in the US.
Tapia confirmed he still has a valid contract with Ndongeni from which the boxer is trying to free himself, on the basis that the US manager did not give him a fight for over a year.
Tapia claimed he approached several promoters in the US who were willing to give Ndongeni a fight while he was training at Mayweather gymnasium in Las Vegas, but were blocked by the existing pact the boxer has with BP.
“So many promoters, including Mayweather Promotions, Al Haymon, Top Rank, just to mention a few were interested to give Nomeva a fight, but they discovered that he has an existing contract with Banner Promotions,” he said.
Ndongeni had admitted that the fight against Haney was organised by Banner Promotions, which has close ties with top SA promoter Rodney Berman.
BP also gave Ndongeni his other fight in the US, when he beat Mexican Juan Garcia Mendez in 2016.
Tapia accused BP of deducting a percentage from Ndongeni’s purse in the Haney fight.
He claimed that Ndongeni’s purse was $30,000 (R411,690), from which he had to pay 30% US tax and another percentage to BP and Berman.
This made Tapia decide not to take his cut, after realising that Ndongeni would be left with virtually nothing.
“They all took a cut from Nomeva’s purse, Art Pelullo (BN boss) and Berman and left Nomeva with nothing,” he claimed.
Berman denied involvement in the fight besides putting the boxer’s trainer Sean Smith in touch with the US organisers.
“I never took a single cent from the fight and I do not believe BN still have a contract with Ndongeni,” he said.
Berman lashed out at Tapia, accusing him of trying to worm his way into the spotlight when he did nothing to help Ndongeni get his R1m he is owed by Dicksy Ngqula for winning the Premier Boxing League (PBL) tournament in 2015.
“We have spent up to R100,000 trying to help Ndongeni get his money from Dicksy Ngqula, even though he is not our fighter,” he said.
However, Ndongeni had confirmed that BN promised him to get him back to the US for a fight within 120 days.
Ndongeni confirmed that the purse he fought for was meagre, but insisted he only took the fight to market himself...

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