Ref blunder may benefit Simba

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Mesuli Zifo

THE conduct of referee Tony Nyangiwe when he prematurely stopped the Nashua Cruiserweight Super 8 clash between Flo Simba and Thabiso Mchunu at Emperors Palace at the weekend may have inadvertently given Simba’s career a life line.

Nyangiwe shocked spectators when he jumped in to stop the fight in the first round after Simba had been wobbled by a counter left.

Although Simba quickly recovered and appeared to be in his senses when he even invited Mchunu to throw his best punches, Nyangiwe inexplicably jumped in to save the fight, drawing a protest from Simba’s trainer Harold Volbrecht and boos from the packed arena.

Volbrecht lodged a complaint with Boxing SA yesterday about Nyangiwe’s conduct and also pleaded with promoter Rodney Berman to stage the rematch.

Berman whose Golden Gloves Promotion (GGP) promoted the tournament confirmed that he was seriously considering staging the rematch as part of the second leg of the series scheduled for September 22.

This would mean that Simba will indirectly progress to the next round even though he officially lost and appeared to be headed for a legitimate stoppage defeat by Mchunu, that would have possibly ended his career.

“What happened with the referee was injustice and we may have to review this situation,” Berman said, refusing to give much away.

However, with Johnny Muller having received a walkover to the next round following the withdrawal of his original opponent Israeli fighter Ran Nakash for failing to make the weight, it remains to be seen how the GGP will sort out the five fighters left for the semi-finals if Simba is allowed to progress.

There are however, indications that Muller may be sacrificed for Simba, who is his stablemate at Volbrecht’s gym especially as he is seen as the whipping boy of the series who will be massacred alive by the hard punching participants such as Mwekassa.

Berman refused to confirm or deny that Muller may be sacrificed insisting that GGP was yet to sit down and review the situation.

He, however, conceded that a new round of seeding will be conducted to determine the pairing of the remaining fighters.

Other fighters are: Danie Venter who eliminated Daniel Bruwer, Mwekassa who sensationally blasted Tshepang Mohale in the first round, Mchunu, Muller and possible Simba.


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