Jonas Sultan
STAR/File
Sultan home empty-handed
Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — It’s been three weeks since Jonas Sultan returned home from South Africa where he was booked to battle Ricardo Malajika in a 10-round superflyweight fight at the Emperor’s Palace, Kempton Park, last March 21.

Sultan and trainer Edmund Villamor left Cebu to travel to Johannesburg via Singapore last March 14. When they arrived, Golden Gloves Promotions announced the fight was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Sultan and Villamor were told to leave the day after they flew in without getting paid 10 percent of the fighter’s $8,000 purse as stipulated in his contract if the bout is called off.

“Na-cancel ang laban ni Jonas sa South Africa,” said ALA Boxing head trainer Edito Villamor. “Umuwi sila, one day lang doon at pagdating, kinabukasan pinauwi. Hindi sila nabayaran.” GAB chairman Baham Mitra confirmed that Sultan was not paid a single cent. Sultan himself messaged Mitra saying he didn’t receive any amount, not even for training expenses.

“They weren’t given anything,” said Mitra who promised to get to the bottom of the issue because it’s clear in the contract submitted to GAB that if the fight is postponed, 10 percent of the purse will be given to Sultan. Under clause 5-D, the contract stated that “Should the promoter … postpone the tournament or the said contest upon reasonable grounds, he or she may do so, provided he or she pays the boxer 10 percent of the total amount agreed as the purse money between the promoter and boxer.”

The contract further mentioned that “in the event of the promoter being prevented from promoting the said contest by reason of an act of God or by the order of the South African Police or as a result of mechanical or technical failure at the venue which precluded the tournament from proceeding or by Boxing South Africa, then and in such event, the promoter shall not be obliged to pay the contracted sum to the boxer but shall pay the stipulated fee in clause 5-D.” Sultan should’ve been paid $800 or 10 percent of his purse of $8,000 by the promoter for the postponement. Mitra said he would e-mail the South African promoter for an explanation.

Edito Villamor said the 10 percent or the equivalent of about P40,000 should have been given. “Nag-follow-up si (matchmaker) Bebot Elorde sa promoter last week,” said Villamor. “Hanggang ngayon, wala pa raw nabigay. Follow-up niya ulit kahapon. Hintay namin sagot ng promoter.”

Lawyer Rodney Berman, 77, heads Golden Gloves Promotions which staged its first boxing card in 1977 and its first world title fight in 1982. The contract for the South Africa fight was signed by Sultan last Oct. 8 and submitted to GAB. The contract has the Boxing South Africa letterhead but no promoter’s signature. It also specified that Sultan’s fight was a non-title bout. In a Golden Gloves poster announcing the fight, it was billed as an IBF Intercontinental superflyweight championship match.

The fight would’ve been Sultan’s third in South Africa after he halted Makazole Tete in the second round in 2016 and bowed to Athenkosi Dumezweni on a 12-round decision for the vacant WBC Silver superflyweight crown last year. Sultan’s record is 16-5, with 10 KOs. Malajika boasts a 6-0 record, with five KOs, and it would’ve been his seventh straight outing at Emperor’s Palace.

JONAS SULTAN
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