Awards for top boxers
There will be gnashing of teeth when the winner of the 2017 Boxing SA Knockout of the Year award is announced at the awards ceremony at the Boardwalk Casino in Port Elizabeth on Friday, February 2.
The reason? Zolani Tete's historic 11-second knockout of Siboniso Gonya in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has no match. And who can blame the local followers of the fistic sport because even globally, every one is still marvelling over the acuteness, precision and power that sent Gonya down.
But wait for it, Tete's KO does not qualify for the 2017 boxing awards because it happened on November 18, 2017 and the period under review is from October 1 2016 to October 31 2017. So that stunning knockout will only qualify for the 2018 awards.
The winning punch will be chosen from Sihle Jelwana's third-round KO by Lebogang Pilane for the Free State flyweight title, Phila Mpontshane's 11th-round knockout of Lucky Monyebane for the SA junior featherweight title and Lerato Dlamini's seventh-round KO of Sinethemba Bam for the IBF Youth featherweight title.
Tete's first defence of the WBO bantamweight title is the fastest knockout in a world championship bout, eclipsing the record held by WBO junior featherweight champion Daniel Jimenez, who stopped Harad Geier in 17 seconds in 1994.
Tete's name also appears in the Most Sought After Boxer of the Year award. Other nominees are boisterous SA and ABU SADC welterweight champion Thulani Mbenge; SA, WBC Youth and IBF Continental featherweight holder Azinga Fuzile; and cruiserweight champ Kevin Lerena.
However, Tete's 11-point victory over Arthur Villanueva for the interim WBO bantamweight title has made the top three for the Fight of the Year award.
Other nominated bouts are a 12-rounder between IBO junior bantamweight champion Gideon Buthelezi and tough as nails Mexican Angel Aviles, and the 10-rounder for the Gauteng junior flyweight title between champion Mpho Seforo and Thabang Ramagole.
The nominees for the Female Boxer of the Year award are middleweight champion Mapule Ngubane, WBF bantamweight holder Bukiwe Nonina and WBF junior middleweight champion Noni Tenge. Sean Smith, Colin Nathan and Monelisi Myekeni are up for Trainer of the Year while Sihle Mnguni, Lucky Ramagole and Mlandeli Tengimfene are contesting the manager's ward.
Lunga Stemela, Sikho Nqothole and Ayanda Nkosi are vying for the Male Prospect award while Smangele Hadebe, Xoliswa Jonas and Bonita van Jaarsveld are vying for the Female Prospect award.
Ayanda Matiti, Lebo Mahoko and Steve Kalakoda are nominated for the Promoter of the Year award while Sandile Xaka, Meme Dipheko and Shereen Hunter for the Most Promising Promoter of the Year.
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