South Africa

Khonco, Nonina hot bets to win awards

2017-01-22 05:52
Bukiwe Nonina displays her SA championship belt and says she is looking forward to being voted the country’s best female boxer.

Johannesburg - Simphiwe 'Chain Reaction' Khonco and Bukiwe 'Anaconda' Nonina are hot favourites to be voted the country’s top boxers in their respective categories during the Boxing SA Awards on Friday.

The awards will be held at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

The ceremony will honour boxers, trainers and other stakeholders who did exceptionally well in various aspects of the sport last year (see box). Voting has been done by the public, with nominations conducted by a panel of an adjudication committee. The awards are making a return after a seven-year absence.

Khonco is in contention for the Male Boxer of the Year honour, which he contests with Xolisani Nomeva Ndongeni and Zolani 'Last Born' Tete. 

Chain Reaction put up a sterling showing before he beat Siyabonga Siyo on points to be crowned International Boxing Organisation (IBO) minimum weight kingpin at Emperors Palace in June. Fighting as if possessed, the Mthatha, Eastern Cape-based pugilist put up a splendid showing in his title defence by outpointing Nkosinathi Mabhere Joyi at the Orient Theatre in November.

Khonco deserves to win the award, considering his great year in the ring  compared with 2015 that saw him suffer an ignominious points defeat at the hands of stablemate Hekkie 'Hexecutioner' Budler for the IBO and World Boxing Association minimum weight championship at Emperors.

Ndongeni had only one fight locally last year which was against Tanzanian Emilio Norfat, whom he stopped in the first round at Orient Theatre in April. Last Born was not seen in action at home last year as he fought in the UK. This makes Khonco a firm favourite to walk away with the award of best pugilist.

Professional career

For Nonina, the SA female bantamweight queen, it will be smooth sailing to get the nod as the best female fighter. She has defended her championship belt five times. Last year, Anaconda staked her crown successfully against Matshidiso Mokebe who she beat on points at the Durban International Convention Centre in March. In October, she outpointed Smangele Hadebe at King Hintsa College in Dutywa.

Nonina competes for the honours with Leighandre Baby Lee Jegels, who holds the national super flyweight belt, and Sharadene 'Shinzo' Fortuin, the IBO bantamweight queen. Jegels has had only seven bouts in her professional career while Shinzo has fought eight times. Both do not match Nonina who has compiled a ring record of 14 bouts.

The clash between Azinga Golden Boy Fuzile and Macbute “Macman” Sinyabi is likely to be voted Male Fight of the Year. 

Fuzile out-thought and out-gunned the experienced Sinyabi to win the national featherweight title on a unanimous 12-round points decision before a packed Orient Theatre in East London in October.

The Knockout of the Year is likely to come from the SA cruiserweight bout between Kevin Lerena and Johnny Muller that took place at Emperors Palace last April.

Lerena avenged his only career defeat by stopping Muller in the 10th round.

AWARDS

SA Female Boxer of the Year

Bukiwe Anaconda Nonina: SA female bantamweight champion; Leighandre Baby Lee Jegels: SA ­female super flyweight champion;  Sharadene Shinzo Fortuin: IBO female bantamweight champion

Male Boxer of the Year

Simphiwe Chain Reaction Khonco: IBO minimumweight champion; Xolisani Nomeva Ndongeni: IBO lighweight champion;  Zolani Last Born Tete: IBF international bantamweight and  WBO Africa super flyweight champion 

Female Fight of the Year

Noni She Bee Stingin Tenge vs ­Szylvia Szabados; Gabisile Simply the Best Tshabalala vs Unathi 

Showtime Myekeni; Fortuin vs ­Simone da Silva

Male Fight of the Year

Khonco vs Hekkie Hexecutioner Budler; Azinga Golden Boy Fuzile vs Macbute Macman Sinyabi; Johnny The Hurricane Muller vs Kevin The KO Kid Lerena 

Female Prospect of the Year

Nthabiseng Didi; Wolmarans Hedda; Melissa Muller

Male Prospect of the Year

Brandon Thysse; Fuzile; Thulani Mbenge 

Knockout of the Year

Lerato Dlamini vs Babalo Ncakeni; Zolani Tete vs Paul Butler; Lerena vs Muller

Trainer of the Year

Mzamo Njekanye; Colin Nathan; Keith Rass

Manager of the Year

Mlandeli Tengimfene; Luyanda Sovasi; Bernie Pailman

Matchmaker of the Year

Luyanda Kana; Reuben Rasodi

Female Ring Official of the Year

Siya Vabaza; Phumeza Sinakile; Sylvia Mokaila

Male Ring Official of the Year

Deon Duarte; Thabo Spampool; Darryl Ribbink

Promoter of the Year

Xaba Promotions; Showtime Promotions; Real Steel Promotions.

Read more on:    ibf  |  ibo  |  wba  |  johannesburg  |  boxing
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