Exclusion of Njekanye infuriates licensees

Monelisi Myekeni, now Zolani Tete's trainer, has been nominated for Trainer of the Year. / WATSON MCOTELI
Monelisi Myekeni, now Zolani Tete's trainer, has been nominated for Trainer of the Year. / WATSON MCOTELI

There was a gnashing of teeth from boxing licensees in East London on Wednesday when Mzamo "Chief" Njekanye was not mentioned in the final list of nominees for Boxing SA's (BSA) 2017 Trainer of the Year award.

One such complainant was Loyiso Mtya, the former BSA director of operations and acting chief executive.

"Mzamo did not only do well with Azinga [Fuzile] but a whole lot of other boxers in his stable. Maybe you have to be loved in boxing to get recognition," argued Mtya.

Njekanye hones the skills of many promising boxers.

They include SA, WBC Youth and IBF Continental featherweight champion Fuzile, one of the four nominees for the Boxer of the Year Award alongside WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete, SA welterweight holder Thulani Mbenge and IBO cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena.

Trick is, the boxing fraternity in East London let Njekanye down by not nominating him for the award that is contested by Monelisi Myekeni, Sean Smith, Allan Toweel Junior and Colin Nathan.

Myekeni trains Tete, while Smith guides Mbenge, Lerena and SA, ABU cruiserweight titleist Thabiso Mchunu, as well as SA lightweight champion Thompson Mokwana.

Toweel trains up-and-coming boxers such as Sikho Nqotholo, who is contesting the prospect's award with Gauteng lightweight champion Ayanda Nkosi and Lunga Stemela.

Nathan trains IBF International flyweight holder Moruti Mthalane.

Licensees also questioned the exclusion of Tete's stunning first round knockout of Siboniso Gonya in Ireland in November for the Knockout of the Year category.

But Tete's historic 11 seconds KO is outside the prescribed period of review - October 1 2016 to October 31 2017.

The BSA awards will take place in Port Elizabeth on February 2.

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