By Ronnie Nathanielsz

Not only did South Africa’s Ali Funeka lose a chance to win both the IBF and WBO lightweight titles when he dropped a controversial majority decision to Nate Campbell, who himself lost his titles by failing to make the weight, but he now faces problems for fighting abroad without clearance from Boxing South Africa.

A story by Bongani Magasela in the Sowetan newspaper claims that Funeka fought “illegally because Boxing SA did not clear him.”

Magasela claimed that working on a tip-off he confronted BSA director of operations Loyiso Mtya who confirmed that Funeka’s camp did not provide the governing body for boxing in South Africa “with Funeka’s contract from Don King.”

He said this meant that should he have won Funeka “would not have been recognized by his own commission as the IBF and WBO champion.”

Magasela also noted that if anything had happened to Funeka in the fight he would not have qualified for any assistance.

Mtya said “right up to the week of the fight nobody from Funeka’s camp asked us for the clearance.” He said that once they realized that the fight was getting closer, a staff member called Bongani Zulu who is part of the Funeka camp and “he promised to send the contract but he never did.”

Mtya noted that knowing that Boxing SA “would never be right in the eyes of many people if we blocked Funeka from fighting, we let go.” He said the reason for requiring the contract was for the association to  “know the purse money because the boxer has to pay Boxing SA 1.5 percent.”

Mtya insisted that Funeka “will be forced to submit the contract which was subject to US tax deductions of around 33 percent  But it must be taxed here” in South Africa.

However, it was not clear what steps would be taken in case Funeka didn’t submit his contract.