Courting trouble - Pregnant boxer faces censure
LIZBETH Sivhaga is in serious trouble with Boxing South Africa (BSA).
The female fighter from Limpopo presented the authorities in East London with a false medical document that declared her fit to defend her South African flyweight title last Sunday.
Sivhaga was in fact medically unfit to fight as she was pregnant. The boxing rules state that no female fighter can lace boxing gloves when they are more than seven days pregnant.
Sivhaga was to make a voluntary defence against Noxolo Makhanavu at Mdantsane Indoor Sports Centre but that fight did not happen - thanks to Phakamile Jacobs.
The Eastern Cape-based service provider is understood to have become suspicious of the document and ordered Sivhaga to go for another test during the weigh-in on Saturday last weekend. It was found that she was pregnant.
Jacobs refuses to comment on the matter but confirms that the fight was called off and that Makhanavu was declared the interim champion.
BSA director of operations Loyiso Mtya pays tribute to Jacobs.
"Otherwise Sivhaga would have fought and put her life and that of her foetus at risk. She is now being investigated.
"We want to know who gave her that medical certificate," says Mtya.
"She landed herself in trouble and almost did the same to BSA.
"Imagine what would have been said about us had she fought and something went terribly wrong and she had to be hospitalised, only for the doctors to discover that she is pregnant."
Mtya says Jacobs' experience in dealing with such matters played a major role when he examined the medical certificate brought by Sivhaga before the official weigh-in.
Sivhaga must have obtained her document at home, where she did her pre-fight medical checkup.
This is where her pregnancy should have been detected.
Mtya says pregnancy tests are conducted no more than seven days before a fight.
He adds that Sivhaga is still the champion.
"We won't take the title away because she is pregnant but action has to be taken. We can't allow the title to stagnate (because of the situation)," he says.
He adds that if it is discovered Sivhaga's document is fraudulent, she may be stripped of the title and even suspended from boxing.
"But if all is well, Sivhaga will have to indicate to us after giving birth that she is ready to fight and she will be ordered to face Makhanavu."
The boxer was not available for comment.