Personalities deserve BSA lifetime award

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Boxing SA should present Joe Bowker, Derrick Watson and Ezekiel Mtshali with the lifetime achievement award .

The boxing governing body will have its yearly awards ceremony at Sand du Plessis hall in Bloemfontein on February 15.

The three veteran boxing personalities have served the noble art with distinction for more than 40 years. But their dedication has never been acknowledged.

Bowker, 73, from Mafeking, formed the Cape Settlements Boys Boxing Club in 1964 in Krugersdorp.

He produced several coloured amateur champions such as Jury Martins and Ivan Steyn.

Bowker later joined forces with Bokkie Martins and they formed the Eagles Boxing Club in Toekomsrus where they produced top name fighters such as Aladin Stevens, Jan Bergman and Simon Ramoni.

Bowker went solo and opened his gym, which was later closed down by the Randfontein Local Council.

Bowker now trains fighters in his garage.

Watson, 62, from Kliptown, learnt the ropes by assisting Dawood Bhayat at the Passing Parade gymnasium in Newtown. Among the fighters they worked with were Richard and Gideon Borias, Mohamed Patel and Robbie Africa.

Watson later formed his club, the Brotherhood Amateur Boxing Club. He also fought alongside Job Sebalo, Bowker, Stanley Sono and Mtshali to unify amateur boxing in Soweto.

He was part of the scene when coloured townships such as Toekomsrus, Eldorado Park and Western were thriving boxing communities.

Watson was elected to the national boxing commission in 1998. He is still involved as fight supervisor.

Mtshali, 64, from White City, became one of the most well known trainers and matchmakers. He started training fighters at CWJ Boxing Club in 1967 and coached Lehlohonolo Ledwaba in the amateur ranks.

He stopped coaching in 2000. He was matched for Sy Mashinini, Simon Mbonani and recently worked for BRD Promotions and helped to popularise their fighter, Isaac Hlatswayo.