BSA to reward top boxers with cash

Boxing South Africa chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka. /Veli Nhlapo
Boxing South Africa chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka. /Veli Nhlapo

Winners in seven of the 16 categories of Boxing South Africa (BSA) awards will walk away with cash prizes, chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka has confirmed.

The categories include prospect of the year, boxers of the year, fight of the year (both male and female) as well as the knockout of the year.

Lejaka and the newly appointed board of BSA must be commended for this innovation because it is a sad and known fact that boxers in South Africa are paid paltry purses by promoters. Some promoters get financial assistance from provincial governments but still they pay purses far below living standards.

Said Lejaka: "Due to financial resources, only seven of the 16 categories carry monetary reward of R15000. The total prize money will fluctuate depending on the following: if the fight of the year is between a local and foreign boxer, BSA pays only for the local boxer.

"But if both boxers are locals then prize money goes higher because each of the two will receive R15000. These are the categories that relate directly to the boxer. For all others including the seven categories already mentioned, the prize is the trophy, certificate and blazers. The blazer is presented to all nominees."

Meanwhile, the nominated fights of the year are the IBO junior bantamweight championship fight between holder Gideon Buthelezi and Mexican Angel Aviles; Gauteng junior flyweight bout between Mpho Seforo and Thabang Ramagole (both locals) and the interim WBO bantamweight title fight between Zolani Tete and Arthur Villanueva of the Philippines.

The public nominated the WBF featherweight female bout between Unathi Myekeni and Asandiswa Nxokwana (locals), the same organisation's junior middleweight fight between Noni Tenge and Mapule Ngubane (locals) and the international bantamweight eight-rounder between Smangele Hadebe and Ellen Simwaka (from Malawi) as contestants for the female fight of the year award.

Sihle Mnguni, Mlandeli Tengimfene and Lucky Ramagole are contesting the manager of the year award.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Boardwalk Casino in Port Elizabeth on February 2.

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