Handi leads race for promoter of the year award

S'PHATHO Handi is the frontrunner for Boxing SA's 2009 promoter of the year award.

S'PHATHO Handi is the frontrunner for Boxing SA's 2009 promoter of the year award.

A newcomer with less than five years in the sport of boxing as a promoter, Handi, former board member of BSA, staged seven international tournaments, including a female world championship featuring Noni "She Bee Stingin" Tenge.

She stopped Ghanaian Gifty Amanua Ankrah in the ninth round for the World Boxing Federation (WBF) welterweight belt, becoming the first female fighter from South Africa to win a world title.

But some feel Handi should not even have been nominated because of the ugly scenes involving impatient fans who had crammed the Orient Theatre for a bumper international championship programme.

They made their displeasure known when fan favourite Nkosinathi "Mabere" Joyi failed to show up for his defence of the IBO mini flyweight title against Lorenzo Trejo. But Trejo and his two compatriots from Mexico, who were to fight Ludumo Galada and Lubabalo Msuthu in WBF fights, had not been paid by Handi prior to the tournament, as planned.

The tournament was postponed to the next day and it went on without further glitches.

Handi is nominated for the BSA award with seasoned promoters Mzimasi Mnguni, Reggie Hilman, Pat Molefe and Blacky Seoe. All these gentlemen did well under difficult circumstances last year and are deserved nominees.

Hilman is second best, having presented four big title fights.

One of them took place at Nirvana Secondary School in Lenasia in front of close to 2 000 spectators.

Strictly speaking, it is an insult to nominate Mnguni, whose Eyethu Boxing Promotion has been promoting the sport for ages. He should be given a lifetime achievement award.

Molefe and Seoe, who shared the same award in 2008, were not that busy last year, especially the latter who was dispirited due to his dubious failure to get television dates from the SABC.

The ceremony will take place tonight at St Georges Hotel in Rietvleidam, near Pretoria.