Funeka not off the hook over his Russia bout stance
The war between Boxing SA and veteran Mdantsane boxer Ali Funeka is set to continue unabated after the regulatory body confirmed that it will haul the boxer to a hearing.
This follows Funeka leaving the country to fight in Russia last weekend without a clearance.
The 40-year-old former multiple champion lost a unanimous decision to Armenian-born Russian Gor Yeritsyan in a welterweight fight held at Galaktika Culture Centre, Estosadok, Russia.
Funeka lost a one-sided decision by scores of 80-72 across the board condemning him to a fifth loss in a row.
The loss was his10th in 52 fights of professional boxing career spanning 23 years.
Prior to last Saturday loss, Funeka had dropped a decision also in Russia to Islam Dumanov this past April.
The string of losses has sparked BSA to raise the flag and refuse to issue him with a clearance to fight abroad again.
BSA chief operations officer Cindy Nkomo said the regulatory body had declined to issue Funeka with a clearance.
This after he could not fulfil a string of requirements including submitting an application for a clearance 21 days in advance.
“Ali Funeka had not met all the requirement as set out and therefore BSA could not be give him clearance,” she said.
But Funeka left the country despite the rejection of his application.
Nkomo had threatened to call the promoters of the fight and the Russian Boxing Federation to stop the fight.
However the fight proceeded as planned with Funeka losing to yet another Russian prospect.
Nkomo said BSA was busy discussing the matter with Funeka’s management regarding the remedial action to be taken.
“Transgression of BSA rules occurred so we need to find a solution on this,” she added.
Funeka is at the tail-end of his career which included two world title challenges in the lightweight division when he lost to overweight Nate Campbell and Joan Guzman for the IBF titles.
He managed to win then IBO and WBF welterweight crowns which he lost to Tsiko Mulovhedzi in a muti-alleged bout in East London in 2015.
He also lost the WBF in a rematch with Zolani Marali.
Since then his career has been pedestrian, reducing him to the status of a gatekeeper before sliding further down to a journeyman.
BSA also refused to approve him for the vacant SA welterweight title against top-rated Mziwoxolo Ndwayana.
The latest episode will likely push him to retirement although his performance against Russian prospects who could not knock him out suggests that he still has boxing left in his lanky body.
Funeka’s management declined to comment about the latest episode.