"Mr. Greg Leon must have been for sure furious at me and the WBC for my not following his recommendations not to sanction Danny Williams as a challenger of our WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World, Vitali Klitschko, based on financial matters of which we had no evidence at the time, and I prefer to follow my style of accepting the freedom of the press in silence. (Editors Note: Boxingtalk.com's recent conversation with Jose Sulaiman is ON TAPE. Sulaiman stated he was on the verge of withdrawing Williams' sanction but he decided against it due to lack of evidence and the donation he negotiated with Frank Warren. Even though a quick glance at their ratings lets us know the WBC needs all the help and every recommendation it could get, neither Boxingtalk.com, nor Greg Leon ever made any recommendations to the WBC. Barring a written apology from the WBC, we will strongly consider airing the audio on Boxingtalk's front page. You'll also notice Sulaiman conveinantly ignores the alleged donation from Warren. BT is still wondering what he meant when he said "personal loans". Who did they come from, and where are this persons fighters ranked by the WBC)
"However, I would like to express very strongly that the WBC is a not-for-profit organization and that none of its officers get any compensation for our committed work in the efforts in the service of the sport of boxing.
"We have never asked for, nor have we ever accepted, any income in exchange for a favor, whether in ratings or in any other matter relating to the WBC's actions, nor will anybody be permitted to remain in our organization if their compliance to this rule is not absolutely respected.
"We invite Mr. Leon, or anybody else, to prove us wrong. Our commitment and objective is to work positively for boxing, mainly in safety and being a better sport, and not to respond to controversies on misrepresentations or wrong assumptions that will only conduct to the tarnishing of our beloved sport of boxing."
The following is an email that was sent by South African promoter Branco Milenkovic to Scott Shaffer at Boxingtalk.net.
- WBC SOLICITING PAYMENTS FROM PROMOTERS
Dear Mr. Shaffer:
My name is Branco Milenkovic and I represent Branco Sports Productions, a company based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
I have read your article published on www.boxingtalk.com
"WBC Soliciting Payments From Promoters" with the greatest of interest. Although I never had the opportunity to meet you, and I can not recall sending you any pressers (as I don't even have your contact details, which I hope to get somehow so you will receive this e-mail), I'm sorry to meet you under these unusual circumstances.
As you pointed out in your last paragraph, let me use this opportunity and reply on some of the topics you have raised in the above article (I can only hope that you will publish them "word for word" as you have committed yourself).
I'm not very familiar with the issue about Mr. Williams purse, or Mr. Warren actions in this regard (and I hope you will appreciate that), so let me try and reply in the best of my knowledge and abilities when it comes to your statements regarding the ratings of my boxers, as well as the "donation" you claimed I have forwarded to the World Boxing Council.
Let me reply in the very same order as you have raised these topics in your article:
I have not received a letter from the WBC Vice President Mr. Ruben Martinez (as you claimed) dated 01.09.04 "soliciting money to cover the payments due to Rocchigiani". Not only that I not received the letter from Mr. Martinez in this regard, but for your information, I have never received any correspondents in my life time from Mr. Martinez.
I challenge your self or your "reliable third party" (this is how you refer to your source in your article), to come forward with any valid prove of me receiving any letter from Mr. Martinez since 1997 (the year when I have been involved in the boxing industry).
When it comes to my alleged pressers send to your self (as you claim per your article), as I pointed out in the first paragraph of this letter, I cannot recall sending you any press release.
When it comes to my alleged "boasted" comments about my boxers ratings, let me try and reply on individual base per boxer.
Cruiserweight Baldwin Hlongwane.
Baldwin has entered WBC ratings after his impressive win over previously highly rated WBC International Champion Alexander Petkovic. When Petkovic entered the ring in February to face Hlongwane, his record was 28-1-3, and he was never stopped in his professional career.
Considering the fact that Petkovic only lost was on points for the WBO World Title, as well as the fact that Baldwin had him down nothing less but three times, surly he deserved # 13 by WBC. In addition to above, after beating Petkovic, Hlongwane have won S.A cruiserweight title as well.
Of course, you are not familiar with above facts for the very simple reason, as you didn't do your "homework prior to jumping the horse".
For all the above-mentioned reasons, Hlongwane is currently rated #12 by IBF as well...? Were there any "donations" from our side as well, according to your "reliable third party"..? At the latest WBC ratings, Hlongwane has been dropped from #13 to #16? It looks like alleged "donation" didn't work...?
Super Welterweight Tshepo Mashego.
Tshepo did enter the ratings at Phuket at spot # 25 as you pointed out. There were several very good reasons for it... He was the current S.A Champion, he beat former very good WBC International Champion William Gare, he lost close points decision for WBC Youth World title, and most important, he lost close points decision against very highly rated Felix Sturm (at the time of fighting Mashego Sturm was 17-0)....
After fighting Mashego, Sturm won WBO World Title, and many believe he was unlucky to don't get decision against De La Hoya. Do you honestly believe that spot #25 is too high for somebody who goes full distance with the boxer such as Sturm..?!
At the newest WBC ratings, Mashego has been dropped from #25 to 37....It looks like alleged "donation" didn't work again...?
Once again...luck of research from your side...?
Super Lightweight Lawrence Ngobeni.
Yes, it is correct that Lawrence Ngobeni have entered at spot #20 after Phuket Convention... With the record of only five loses in thirty six fights, and been former WBC #1 (you may not be aware of it), I don't see the big deal of been rated on spot # 20....?
Once again..."homework" not done from your side.
Super Bantamweight Gabula Vabaza.
Vabaza has defended his National Title five times and he is a former WBU Champion. Do you really feel that for the boxer unbeaten in twenty professional fights with fifteen ko, spot # 16 is to high..?
Flyweight Nkqubela Gwazela.
Gwazela had three fights prior to convention in Phuket and all three he has won by stoppage... Prior to the convention he has won WBC International Title as well, and spot #16 should be with in reasons.
For the above-mentioned reasons, Gwazela is rated # 12 by WBO as well... Were there any "donations" from our side as well...according to your "reliable third party"..?
Super Featherweight Mzonke Fana.
Mzonke Fana has been #1 for the last fifteen months... He has become # 1 contender at the WBC Convention in Russia, and I'm not very sure how would your "reliable third party" comment about...Any "donations" in Russia in 2003..? After been WBC #1 for over one year, WBC have ordered (according to they rules and regulations) World final eliminator between the two highest contenders- #1 Mzonke Fana and #2 Randy Suico, which Fana have won.
As WBC Super Featherweight Mandatory obligation is due on February 28th, during convention in Phuket, and based on the fact that Fana has won World Final Eliminator ordered by WBC, the ruling was made that the winner of Morales vs. Barrera should comply with WBC rules and fight Fana as the due date for mandatory is with in ninety days after 27th November (date of the fight between Morales and Barrera).
Forgive me for saying, but I will still take a liberty to do so, claims made by yourself as well as by your "reliable third party" about me receiving a letter from the WBC Vice President Mr. Ruben Martinez "soliciting money to cover the payments due to Rocchigiani", are nothing else but a cheap lie!
Not only that I categorically denied that I have received any such letter from any WBC member (including Mr. Martinez), but in the same time I categorically denied that I have paid any "donation" ever to the World Boxing Council, or any other boxing organizations for that matter.
My company has made a booking (only a booking and not a payment) for the WBC dinner to be held in Las Vegas sometime in the middle of 2005. My attendance to the above-mentioned dinner is not even confirmed, for the reason been of my monthly televised shows we are staging in South Africa. I don't think there is a problem with having dinner Mr. Shaffer...?
Hopefully, I will have the pleasure of having dinner with yourself one day as well..?
I challenge not only your self as well as your web side, but anybody anywhere in the world, to come with a valid prove for the claims made in your publication.
When it comes to the ratings of my boxers been justified or not, let your readership decide it, after you publish above data's.
I'm sure that you would agree with me when I say that your article have damage my good image and reputation in the industry, and there may be some reason for me to demand apology or even go further and seek legal advice, but this is not my attention.
My attention was only to reply (as you welcomed it in your last paragraph) on the extraordinary accusations made in your publication and to put the record straight.
In the closing, as I pointed out to you in the opening paragraph of my letter, I'm sorry to meet you under this circumstances.
Branco MilenkovicEditors Note: Boxingtalk's Scott Shaffer and G. Leon are working on a story over the following email as this goes to print