Koti and Fana shock boxing

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Tongues are still wagging from the boxing fraternity which was shocked by the arrogance by trainer Zola Koti and his fighter Mzonke Fana when they received their awards a week ago.

The alway calm mentor from the Western Cape lost his composure after being announced Boxing SA's Trainer of 2007.

"I am not surprised", he said, much to the jeer inside Sand du Plessis in Bloemfontein. Some 500 attendees, from the political, business and sporting spheres gathered in Bloemfontein for the first boxing awards ever to take place in the Free State.

"I am the best", he paused before adding that "much as I respect other trainers, I believe it was time that my ability and strength be recognised".

But Koti's intrepidness is understood because he has for many years been ignored when it came to honouring personalities who did well in boxing.

Nothing came his way when Fana won more than one award locally and internationally.

Koti's charge, the "Rose of Khayelitsha", won the most sought after Boxer of the Year award. He blundered in his speech by berating champions of other sanctioning bodies.

" I am the IBF champion of the world not the IBO or WBF. Bring all those who think they are the best. I will show them what I am made of, " said Fana, whose brilliant performances last year warranted recognition.

He will make a mandatory defence against Cassius Baloyi on April 12 in a venue which to be decided by promoters Branco Milenkovic and Jacob Matlala.

"Come April 12, people are going to see the best of Mzonke Fana," he said. It was the first time ever in the history of these yearly awards which started in 1976 that winners received their crowns with arrogance.