Nick Gordon
2 minute read
22 May 2014
10:30 am

Gloves off as boxing teeters on ropes

Nick Gordon

There's no denying that the sport of boxing in South Africa is currently teetering precariously on the ropes.

Boxing promoter Branco Milenkovic arrives at the South Gauteng High Court, 11 August 2010. Picture: Michel Bega

Some quarters will argue that it’s never been healthier, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

A new board, chaired by Ntambi Ravele, has been tasked with trying to steer the ship when the new term of office begins on June 1, but the seven-member panel will face a major challenge in remedying the apparent rot from within.

The biggest cause for concern is the ongoing blackout by the national broadcaster amid a battle between the ownership of the television rights. It’s a topic that won’t go away, especially when there is very little information being disseminated by the powers that be.

On the surface, it has been billed as a battle between Boxing South Africa and Branco Milenkovic, but as it stands the hold up is coming from the regulator and the office of director general for Sport and Recreation Alec Moemi.

Moemi has yet to respond to a request by the promoter’s legal team to clarify the issue of the ownership of television rights as well as various other concerns.

That letter was dated March 18 and addressed directly to Moemi. A copy of the letter was subsequently leaked to the media.

“All I asked was for confirmation on ownership of TV rights. I asked for just one line concerning this which the DG has rejected,” Milenkovic said in an exclusive interview with The Citizen this week.

“That offer, up to today, has had no reply, no acknowledgement and no answer,” he added.

“I was a bit scared to start this knowing that there was a possibility that I may never promote in this country again,” he said yesterday referring to the legal action he instituted in November 2012 to dispute the ownership of television rights after suggestions by BSA and the Department of Sport and Recreation that the regulatory body held these rights and not the promoters.

“But I’m going to finish what I started. Not just for me, but also for the other promoters. I’ve been quiet for many months about these lies, but it is now time to speak up.”