Johannesburg - Sylvia Mokaila says she is proud to win Boxing SA’s (BSA’s) Female Ring Official of the Year award and has now set her sights on winning a world honour in the near future.
One of the country’s finest officials, who has handled numerous local and world title fights as judge and referee, Mokaila distinguished herself by being honoured at the BSA awards at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban last Saturday.
She beat fellow contestants Siya Vabaza and Phumeza Sinakile to the count to romp home with the award.
Judge and referee
The 43-year-old Mokaila, who hails from Lomanyaneng Village in Mafikeng, North West, won because of her outstanding judging of bouts last year, including officiating at the SA and World Boxing Association Pan-African cruiserweight title fight between Kevin Lerena and Johnny Muller at Emperors Palace in April.
Lerena won by a 10th-round stoppage, thanks to Mokaila’s accurate judging of the match-up on the night.
“Being voted the country’s best female ring official makes me extremely proud of the role I play as a judge and referee,” said Mokaila.
“I’m looking forward to handling more world title fights in the near future and ultimately being voted the world’s best official recognised by the top global sanctioning boxing bodies.”
Her wish is to participate in international bouts featuring the best in world boxing.
She has handled numerous international contests in countries such as Mexico, the US, Germany, Namibia, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mokaila started officiating in the amateur ranks in 1996.
She graduated to the top of the professional stage in 1999 after attending a course at the Pretoria High Performance Centre under the tutorship of internationally acclaimed referee Stanley Christodoulou.
Her wish is to see more young women take up boxing in future.
“At the moment it is extremely difficult to encourage young women to take up boxing as their sport of choice because boxing is not as highly exposed as soccer, rugby and cricket in our communities.”
Mokaila also hopes to officiate in fights in front of her North West home fans at venues such as the Mmabatho Convention Centre, The Lost City and Sun City Casino Resort.
“In the meantime, I am also ready to commence a process of ploughing back by assisting the youth of our country to develop not only as professionals, but also open an amateur boxing academy,” she said.