East London officials in firing line
BSA to haul officials over coals after controversial split decision at Orient
Boxing South Africa has promised to come down hard on East London officials after they rendered a disputed win to Phila Mpontshane in his fight against Koos Sibiya.
BSA-Eastern Cape manager Phakamile Jacobs said the officials who scored the fight between Mpontshane and Sibiya were Mandisi Mkile, Sheshe Dunjwa and Thandi Ngodwana.
They rendered a split decision with two of them awarding the fight to Mpontshane while the third had Sibiya winning.
Mpontshane of Mdantsane was declared a winner to retain his SA junior lightweight title in a bout at Orient Theatre in July.
The outcome against the visiting Sibiya who hails from Gauteng was roundly booed by the spectators.
Sibiya subsequently lodged a protest with BSA which arranged a review of the fight with three independent officials scoring it off television.
All three officials scored the fight in favour of Sibiya forcing BSA to order an immediate rematch.
But Mpontshane was already committed to defend the title against Anthony Molisiane who he beat on points to retain the crown a fortnight ago.
While the outcome of the Mpontshane-Sibiya fight will not be changed, the management of Mpontshane and Sibiya have been ordered to arrange for the rematch.
BSA chief executive officer Tsholofelo Lejaka confirmed that the memo was sent to both camps to begin negotiations and arrangement for the fight.
“Yes we are waiting for them to reach a decision regarding this rematch,” he said.
Lejaka also revealed that the officials who scored the fight would be in hot water.
“We are definitely going to take remedial action against the officials involved,” he said while refusing to say what remedial action would be.
However with East London officials often being accused of favouritism against visiting boxers, the trio may be handed a severe punishment to serve as a deterrent against similar outcomes.
However Jacobs defended local officials saying boxers cry robbery anywhere in the country.
“For instance, I know of local boxers who complained bitterly about the decisions that go against them while fighting in Gauteng,” he said.
The decision by BSA to order a rematch comes as a surprise as the regulatory body has been silent on controversial outcomes.
Lejaka admitted that BSA had not ordered a rematch for three years but now was in the process of revisiting the regulation.
“It is actually accommodated by our regulations but for a strange reason we have not been actively enforcing it. Now we want the officials to know that no shoddy officiating will be tolerated.”
Lejaka confirmed that the regulatory body was concerned about the stigma often associated with East London officials.
“People say this as a joke that in order to get a draw in East London you must knock out its boxer. But this is a serious matter and we cannot let it go on like this. We need to stamp our authority to level the playing fields.”
The region has been frowned upon by boxers from other areas with some refusing to fight here.
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