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Big night as BSA honours local talent

May 17 has been confirmed as the date for Boxing SA's 2018 annual awards.

The imposing Sandton Convention Hall will host the momentous evening in the lives of all boxing licensees, who have been waiting with bated breath since February, which is usually the month BSA holds its awards.

That special day in South African boxing will see men and women of substance being honoured for their sterling performances and conduct in 15 categories of boxing in both the amateur and professional ranks during the period under review - November 1 2017 to October 31 last year.

The announcement of the venue and date was made yesterday by BSA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka at Uncle Tom's Hall, which is adjacent to the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum in Orlando West, Soweto.

That venue is two blocks away from where Pieterson, a twelve-year-old pupil who was killed during the Soweto uprisings in 1976.

The museum is named in his honour. It became one of the first museums in Soweto when it opened on June 16 2002.

The upcoming awards will be the second under the leadership of BSA chairman Peter Ngatane. Previously, they were organised under the leadership of Muditambi Ravhele in Durban in early 2017. The last were held in Port Elizabeth in February 2018.

The chairman of the awards adjudication committee Khulile Radu described May 17 as the apt indication of the fact that boxing in the country is back.

"BSA will be showcasing boxing talent across the broad spectrum of South African boxing," Radu said.

WBO bantamweight holder Zolani "Last Born" Tete is nominated for the KO of the year award. This comes just days after he missed out on the big day of his fruitful career when he was forced out of the unification against WBA Super holder Nonito Donaire due to injury to his shoulder three days before they were due to meet on Sunday.

His 11-seconds knockout of Siboniso Gonya in Belfast in 2017 remains the fastest knockout in a world championship bout, eclipsing the record held by WBO junior featherweight champion Daniel Jimenez, who stopped Harald Geier in 17 seconds back in 1994.

"[The awards] however, [are] not about that part but most importantly, about recognising and celebrating men and women whose names have made it to the final shortlist of the South African Boxing Awards 2018.

"We would like to congratulate them and hope that this will inspire them to work even harder," Lejaka explained.

"We would like to say to them, through your achievement this far, a generation has already been inspired.

"Whatever happens on May 17, whoever wins the ultimate award in the respective category you have been nominated in, just for making it this far, you are already a winner."

The winners of the male and female boxers, prospects and fights of the year, as well as knockout of the year, will receive R15,000 each.

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