It has taken Simon Mokadi over two decades to make an impression as a boxing referee and the 47-year-old official from Tembisa is reaping the fruits of perseverance.
Mokadi is now quietly carving his own path to a brighter future. This has been confirmed by the recognition the married father of three boys received from the African Boxing Union (ABU).
Mokadi has been appointed to referee the eagerly awaited local shoot-out between left handers Thabiso "The Rock" Mchunu and Thomas "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen for the vacant cruiserweight title in the main bout of Golden Gloves' Call to Glory bill at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.
ABU vice-president Peter Ngatane said the Tembisa-based official could be marching in the footsteps of retired respected referee Clement Martins.
"Martins never interfered with action and never stole limelight from boxers. Mokadi is gradually getting there," said Ngatane yesterday.
Mokadi, who has already handled 19 SA and 10 WBF sanctioned title fights, said he was recruited by former boxing trainer and current BSA manager Archie Nyingwa. The fight on Saturday night will be his fifth ABU sanctioned title fight.
"I am grateful and honoured to be appointed for such an important title fight," he said.
"It will be a challenge for me and I hope to handle it very well." Judges will be Pumeza Zinakile, Thabo Spampool and Francis Manning.
Spampool will referee the ABU super middleweight title fight between Ryno "Lion" Liebenberg and Alfonso "Terror" Tissen in the main supporting bout.
Former SA and IBO featherweight champion Lusanda "Mexican" Komanisi and Michael "Pronto" Mokoena will meet in the lightweight division over 10 rounds. Two more bouts will be witnessed in this box-and-dine tournament, and action begins at 7.30pm.