By Ron Jackson
Simphiwe Nongqayi the IBF junior bantamweight champion was named Boxer of the Year for 2009 at the annual Boxing SA Awards ceremony held at the St George Hotel near Pretoria on Friday afternoon. In 2009 Nongqayi beat Francisco Arce in an IBF eliminator and won the vacant IBF junior bantamweight belt when he outpointed Francisco’s brother, Mexican legend Jorge Arce in Mexico, was a popular winner.
The IBF junior lightweight title fight between Malcolm Klassen and Cassius Baloyi held in Mafeking on April 18 last year was a real humdinger and deservedly received the Fight of the Year Award.
The exciting young junior heavyweight Florante Simba who burst on to the scene in 2009 with three inside the distance victories was named Prospect of the Year despite close competition from another exciting young heavyweight prospect Johnny Muller.
Successful trainer and manager Nick Durandt cleaned up by taking awards in both the manager and trainer categories.
Jeff Ellis, promoter and publisher of African Ring received a well deserved Special Achievement Award.
Siphato Handi from the Eastern Cape was named Promoter of the Year and Siya Vabaza also from the Eastern Cape was named Ring Official of the Year
The Sowetan boxing reporter Bongani Magasela received the Media Personality of the Year award.