10.19.03 – Other than the fact that WBF heavyweight champion Richel Hersisia made quick work of Zoltan Petranyi, stopping the Hungarian titleholder on a cut in the opening round to collect his fourth championship belt of sorts, the Netherlands Kingdom title, last Saturday week (Oct. 11) on Curacao, not a positive word was lost from either side about the trip to the Caribbean.
The problems started when local promoter Ivan ‘Zamuco’ Conradus informed Hersisia’s German manager Olaf Schroeder that, after all, he had not secured the services of former cruiserweight IBF/IBO champion Uriah Grant to oppose the undefeated Dutch puncher. With just one week to go to the fight, Schroeder saved the show by delivering the Hungarian champion and successfully applied for sanctioning from the Netherlands Boxing Board (NBB) to have the new match being for the vacant Netherlands Kingdom crown. This championship is the equivalent of the British Commonwealth title and open for all boxers from the former Dutch colonies. Petranyi was accepted as the opponent for Hersisia by the NBB, because no other co-challenger was available and in these cases foreigners are allowed to participate, though can not win the title in case they win the fight. So far, so good.
As for the brief fight itself, Petranyi began circling the ring, trying to stay away from the pressing Hersisia. After jumping in with his head several times, Petranyi suffered a cut himself and suddenly took a knee after one such collision. An angy Hersisia then delivered a short hook to the ribs which kept Petranyi down and only then the referee intervened. He ordered Petranyi to get up, which the Budapest man did, had a look at the cut and then send the boxers to their corners in termination of the bout. Manager Schroeder, who worked his boxers corner as a cutman, takes up the story: “When the fight was waved off, I went over to the referee and he immediately informed me that he stopped it because of the severity of Zoltan’s cut. The rough stuff is not a problem for Richel, he’s not a cry baby and Zoltan only has himself to blame for his injury.” With that, the fight was over and the Netherlands Kingdom belt strapped around the now 21-0 (16 KO’s) Hersisia’s waiste.
What followed, though, left a very bad taste in everybody’s mouth. This is what Schroeder says: “The problems started before me, Petranyi and his trainer even reached Curacao. We were informed only one day before our departure from Amsterdam about our flight itinerary and promised to be flewn back the day after the fight. This resulted in Petranyi having to spend a whole day at Amsterdam Airport, after which we flew out to the neighbouring island of Bonaire. Not only that we had to spend another five hours in the middle of the night on Bonaire, there were no tickets there for the connecting flight to Curacao. Thus, I had to buy those three tickets myself.” After finally reaching Curacao, not much happened. Nobody took care of the managers lost luggage, no attempt was made to organize the return flights and Petranyi and his trainer Gyula Nagy were kept alone in a different hotel, confirms Schroeder.
Immediately after the fight was over, Team Hersisia fled the venue back to the security of the hotel after hearing threats of physical harm. “We were scared for our lives without even knowing a reason!”, explain Schroeder and trainer Mourad Louati, who immediately and on their own costs made arrangements to leave Curacao with the next possible flight. “Speaking Dutch, I was more aware than Olaf of what was going on,” said Louati, “It started when we insisted on getting paid as was agreed in the contract. All of a sudden, people involved in the promotion made it clear that they will rather kill us, while the promoter Ivan ‘Zamuco’ Conradus was nowhere to be found. He just disappeared and it seemed to us like he wanted his hitmen to take over. Look, we trusted the guy because all was fine when we worked with him last year (when Hersisia won the WBA Central American title), but now he was like a different person.”
Petranyi, who is managed by Felix Racz of Felix Promotion, was only granted a home flight days later and did not receive any payment at all, neither his contracted purse nor any airticket refunds. Obviously, the Hungarian manager is now looking into possible legal action against the promoter.
A Caribbean adventure for sure it was and it looks highly unlikely that Hersisia and his team will ever return to Curacao, as beautiful an island as it may be…