Having enjoyed some hardegat world class boxing action last weekend, yours truly was quckly reminded that Namibia will host another world title bout later this month.
Well!! Bethuel ‘Tyson’ Uushona goes head to head with some nil-star opponent for the WBF (World Boxing Federation) welterweight world title, so it got me thinking, leaving me with a couple of questions.
Firstly, I know that a boxer has to be rated in the top 10 to get a shot at a world title. In addition to the rating, a boxer needs to fight his way to the top to become a mandatory challenger, which could take years, unless the champion challenges you for a voluntary defence, provided you are rated in the top 10.
Now I’m asking myself, how can Uushona suddenly wake up and fight for a world title after losing his world rating in the aftermath of his devastating TKO defeat at the quick hands of Dario Pacheta last October.
The question that needs to be adressd is: was Ushona rated by any of the top sanctioning bodies after the defeat, notwithstanding the fact that the brother also lost to Izinyoka Shikukutu just as recently as December and has never stepped into the boxing ring ever since?
Well, I decided to do a little bit of research on the supposed WBF world title, and my conclusion is that this title is a real joke and total disgrace by Namibian boxing standards. Before you criticize me for drawing that conclusion, let me put this into context.
The WBF is not a recognized sanctioning body in the serious world of boxing. There are only five recognized sanctioning bodies, serious promoters to do business with around the world, and the WBF is definitely not one of them – these are WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF and IBO.
WBF is not recognized by any of the top five sanctioning bodies, and as far as my recollection serves me I can’t remember anybody having fought for a WBF title in Namibia.
As it stands, Uushona is not rated by any sanctioning body, so there is no way he can contest a world title unless this is of course a Mickey Mouse title.
While all other recognized sanctioning bodies would strictly only allow those in the top 10 to fight for a world title bout, the WBF has pathetic standards and would allow any in their top 100 ratings to stake a claim for a world title, which is absolutely ridiculous. This means anybody from any gym can fight for world titles – a potentially dangerous practice that would mean a country having boxers fighting for world titles every other week.
A clear demonstration that nobody takes the WBF seriously is that 13 of their 17 divisions are vacant, which is unheard of in world boxing.
The WBF president is based in South Africa yet there is zero interest by South African promoters to even bother with any of their titles. This brings us to the question: why would Salute Boxing Academy bother and take shortcuts just to prove a point? Yours truly is furthermore disappointed by a well-respected accomplished boxer such as Uushona agreeing to disgrace himself to accept such a meaningless fight.
Well that’s my personal view, but let me comfort you by sharing the views of renowned boxing experts and promoters on the WBF – this is their reaction.
Andile Sidinile (Sijuta Promotions – South Africa) – “I have never promoted with WBF. I have made good network with the WBA and IBO. All my boxers are taken through this route precisely because these sanctioning bodies are recognised worldwide along with the WBC and the IBF. It is incumbent upon each promoter to take a decision to steer their boxers for the international scene.”
Nestor Tobias (MTC Sunshine Academy) – “The WBF is not a recognized sanctioning body – nobody in our gym will ever fight for those titles because it’s a waste of time and money. Nobody will ever take you seriously with a WBF title, and promoting such titles is a total embarrassment for Namibian boxing and quite unfortunate.”
Sean Everett (Supersport) – “We do not consider the WBF to be a world title, we only consider the WBC, WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO as recognized title fights.”
Dingaan ‘The Rose of Soweto’ Thobela (Former world champion – SA) – “We cannot compare the WBF with the other organizations as it is not rated in the top 10 sanction bodies, it is more recommended for gym fighters, and promoters would normally organize such titles for boxers who cannot fight in the top level as a stepping stone.”
Keith Rass (Matchmaker/Manager/Trainer – SA) – “I currently train the IBO world jnr bantamweight champion, Gideon Buthelezi, and have been involved in boxing for many years. I have worked with most sanctioning bodies except WBF. I’ve heard of the WBF but my boxers will never fight for a mediocre title because that will be taking us backwards simply because you will never be recognized as a credible champion.”
Thus a humble plea to Salute Boxing Academy: please stop making a mockery of boxing and try to work your way up – because this is what exactly happens when corners are cut.
To my old buddy Tyson – my brother, you are a respectable fighter, who has already made a good name in boxing, do the honourable thing and don’t disgrace yourself in this fashion. I rest my case.