By Mesuli Zifo
Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotion (GGP) has written a strong-worded letter to the WBC executive secretary Mauricio Sulaiman seeking verification of the reports that his charge Gideon Buthelezi will challenge Adrian Hernandez for the WBC junior flyweight title in Mexico on August 27.
Several Mexican publications have been carrying reports that Hernandez (21-1-1, 13 Kos) will risk his crown against the South African fighter who also holds the IBO title in the junior flyweight division.
However Berman said he was shocked by the report which also appeared on BoxingScene.com as he has not entered into any sort of negotiations with Hernandez camp about the fight.
Berman admitted that he held talks with Sulaiman while he was in Mexico for his other fighter Simpiwe Vetyeka’s WBC elimination clash against Giovanni Caro who lost to Vetyeka on points on July 2.
“Part of my discussions with Mauricio was the approval of Buthelezi’s challenge to Hernandez but no decision about the date was reached,” Berman said.
He was, however, surprised when he learnt through the various boxing websites that August 27 has been set as the date of the fight when he never entered into any negotiations with Hernandez’s camp about the purse and flight details.
Berman suspects a foul play is being employed by Hernandez’s camp to set up Buthelezi to lose by giving him details of the fight just a few days before.
“Obviously we need time to prepare for this kind of fight but I think Hernandez people want to rob us of that opportunity by informing us just days before the fight,” Berman charged.
Although Buthelezi (12-2, 4Kos), who is rated sixth for Hernandez’s crown, will take the fight as a voluntary challenger, Berman has threatened to withdraw his charge from the fight if no details are forwarded to him soon.
“Look, I think Buthelezi will box the rings around Hernandez but at least the playing grounds must be level otherwise we will not send our boxer to Mexico to lose,” he charged.
Berman is still haunted by the similar antics which were used against his other charge Tshifhiwa Munyai when he was given a few days’ notice to challenge Christian Esquivel for the WBC bantamweight silver title last August in Mexico City.
Despite taking the fight at such short notice Munyai put up such a gutsy performance en route to losing a razor-thin decision when two points deduction in the fifth and nine rounds cost him what would have been a draw outcome.
The controversial decision sparked WBC president Jose Sulaiman to order an immediate rematch which Munyai turned down in favour of an IBO junior featherweight title clash against Filipino Danilo Pena who he beat to win the title.
“We learnt the lesson in the Munyai incident and we will not send our fighter to Mexico on short notice again,’ Berman charged.
“We want the playing grounds to be even otherwise we will not put Buthelezi in such a fight.”