OPINION | BSA intervention finds differing views by fans

The recent decision by Boxing SA to intervene in controversial outcomes is sparking mixed feelings in the boxing fraternity and with correct arguments from both sides.
The regulatory body recently ordered Phila Mpontshane to give Koos Sibiya a rematch after their controversial bout was awarded to Mpontshane in July.
Mpontshane was defending his SA junior-lightweight belt at the Orient Theatre.
After an uneventful bout, which never rose to any heights besides Sibiya’s antics to hop up and down the ring while throwing very little at Mpontshane, the outcome went to the judges with two of them voting for the local boy while the third felt Sibiya did enough to take the belt.
Mpontshane was roundly booed by the fans.
Encouraged by the crowd reaction Sibiya lodged a protest with BSA demanding to be given a rematch. A prominent Johannesburg-based newspaper also supported the claim that he deserved the nod.
On reviewing the fight using three independent judges BSA felt Sibiya’s claims were justified and ordered the boxers to do it again.
It all sounds okay if it went down like that but there are other factors to consider here.
Firstly BSA used only three independent judges to score the fight off television instead of the usual five as other world sanctioning bodies do.
Now it is not clear if the sound was turned off to avoid the judges being influenced by spectators or commentators.
But there is no denying that going to the review the independent judges had already seen the newspaper reports condemning the outcome.
And also the reaction of the fans could have played a role in this saga.
But the bottom line is that local fans always give Mpontshane a hard time due to his hardline stance stemming from several confrontation with some of them on social media.
Their booing could have been a retaliation or voicing their displeasure with the bout at large as it was the most boring fight on the card.
Boxing Mecca expressed its feelings in a post-tournament analysis arguing that both boxers did nothing to deserve a win. But because Mpontshane was a defending champ in his own area he was bound to get the nod. The outcome was certainly not the worst we have ever seen in this country. In fact BM saw Mpontshane winning albeit unimpressively.
But here is the scenario. East London judges have been blamed by visiting boxers of being biased against them for a while. BSA admitted to having been aware of that hence it decided to take action when someone actually filed an official complaint.
But BM believes the regulatory body intervened in a wrong fight this time around when there are several more controversial outcomes which were never reviewed.
The Lerato Dlamini versus Sydney Maluleke fight at Emperors Palace is a case in point although it was under the auspices of the WBC as it was for its international featherweight belt. Also Thabiso Mchunu versus Thomas Oosthuizen outcome invoked mixed reactions. Rodney Berman who organised the fight has taken upon himself to arrange for a rematch on December 8 without being influenced by anyone...

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