By Ron Jackson
After several weeks of debate by the fans and the media the IBF junior lightweight champion Cassius Baloyi was named “Boxer of the Year” for 2008 at the Boxing SA Annual Awards at a banquet held at Carnival City in Brakpan on Friday night. Baloyi who has won six versions of a world title, known as the “Shy Guy” was filled with emotion when he went up to receive his award. Another popular winner was the Prospect of Year, Jarred Lovett who has taken the local scene by storm with a string of six knockout victories in his first year as a pro.
The William Gare vs. Jindrich Velecky fight for the World Boxing Organisation super middleweight title appeared rather fortunate to get the nod over the Daniel Bruwer vs. Anthony van Niekerk clash for the Fight of the Year. The decision on who receives an award is decided solely by Boxing SA and not by the more democratic method of votes by the media as was done in previous years.
Other winners were:
Manager of the Year – Nick Durandt.
Trainer of the Year – Lennox Mpulampula.
Promoter of the Year – Blacky Seou/Robs Promotions and Pat Molefe/Rainbow Promotions (joint winners).
Most Promising Promoter of the Year – Ntsikayezwe Isizwe of Isizwe Promotions.
Ring Official of the Year – Jaap van Nieuwenhuizen.
Most Promising Ring Official – Tony Nyangiwe.
Knockout of the Year – Ali Funeka’s stunning knockout over Zaheer Rahim.
Print Media – Bongani Magasela
Radio – T. Phalafala
Television – Strydom Sigila.
Special Awards- Ezekiel Mtshali, Willie Lock, Norman Sekgapane and Eric Gabelana.
Special Achievement Award – Vusi Malinga.
Chairperson Award – Stanley Sono.
Golden Vest Award – Thembisile Gacula.
Life Time Achievement Award – Brian Mitchell and Branco Milenkovic.