Mashaba, Ndlovu 'should share award'

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Thomas "Merciless" Mashaba and Takalani "The Panther" Ndlovu should share Boxing SA's Boxer of 2006 award.

The ceremony will take place on January 19.

Mashaba holds the IBO featherweight title while Ndlovu is that organisation's junior featherweight titleholder.

They were both consistent throughout the year. They showed enormous potential and should be acknowledged for that.

Mashaba is an average boxer in terms of skills, whose sheer hard work and determination have seen him through wars, while Ndlovu boasts natural talent.

Mashaba rose above himself in March to outperform the supremely talented Yober Ortega. He also tamed a lion-hearted Juan Cabrera in their fiercely contested encounter four months later.

Mashaba demolished Oscar Leon in three rounds last week to register a third title defence.

Ndlovu flattened Fabio Oliva in three rounds in April and Giovanni Andrade in two rounds in May.

He outpointed Ricardo Castillo on December 1 and won the IBF's number one spot in the process.

Mashaba and Ndlovu are under the mentorship of Eugene Khanyile and Stanley Ndlovu, respectively.

These two most underrated trainers and Nick Durandt, who has also been consistent throughout the year, should be recognised in the Trainer of 2006 category.

Khanyile wants Mashaba, who has earned the number seven ranking in the WBA and the number eight spot in the IBF, to fight for either titles around May next year.

"I cannot kep him waiting too long. This beast has to be unleashed internationally. I think he has established himself very well on the local arena," said Khanyile. "I think he deserves the Boxer of 2006 award."

Ndlovu will challenge IBF champion Steve Molitor next year.