South African Boxing Awards 2016
In May this year 2016, we announced that the South African boxing awards is back on the cards after an absence of seven years from the boxing scene. By and large, this major announcement was a direct response to a deep seated cry of anguish from all boxing stakeholders and enthusiasts bemoaning the absence of this celebrated event from the boxing calendar.
The significance of these Awards can never be overstated. In a society where negative role models often attempt to reign supreme, boxing’s galaxy of excellence can simply not afford to play second fiddle. In and outside the ring, our sport of boxing has produced some of Mzansi’s finest sport genius, history rewriters, stalwarts and legends! Through these awards we seek to recognize, reward and profile their accomplishment. Through their journey, we seek to inspire the next generation.
An adjudication panel consisting of knowledgeable, experienced, and committed men and women of good standing has been appointed to drive this process. This includes considering all nominations, shortlisting nominees per category and finally coming up with winners in each category. A firm of independent auditors has also been appointed to oversee compliance to the rulebook approved by the Board and ensure integrity of the entire process.
From 1 October till 2 November 2016 we are inviting our boxing licensees, enthusiasts and general public to nominate candidates of their choice. There are a total eighteen categories and criteria for eligibility of candidates into each category. All these are explained in a rulebook which further outlines nomination process to be accessed here or through our provincial managers in the respective provinces.
Our call to action is for the boxing community to rise up in numbers, seize the opportunity and nominate their preferred candidates. As a rule, no candidate can nominate him or herself. So for names of our heroes and heroines to be considered by the adjudication panel, we need to take that first step and nominate them.
South Africa's Boxing Champs
Between 1927 and 2001, 35 South African fighters won a total of 49 world boxing titles. The number of South African world champions peaked in the 1990s. The country had six world champions in 1995, five the following year and six in 1997. In 1998 the number stood at eight, and in 1999 at five world title holders.
Before the advent of more than one world body, Vic Toweel was South Africa's only world champion, winning the bantamweight title in 1950. The only other boxer who came close was Willie Smith, who won the British version of the world bantamweight title when he defeated Teddy Baldock in October 1927.
Multiple title holders
South Africa has, however, also produced multiple title holders. Among these was Brian Mitchell, who won the World Boxing Association title in September 1986 and the International Boxing Federation title in 1991 in the junior lightweight division.
Dingaan Thobela won three titles: the World Boxing Organisation and WBA lightweight titles, in September 1990 and June 1993 respectively, as well as the World Boxing Council middleweight title in September 2000.
Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala is the only South African boxer to have won four titles in three different divisions: he won the WBO flyweight title in May 1993, the WBO light flyweight title in November 1995, as well as the junior flyweight titles under the International Boxing Association in July 1997 and the World Boxing Union in February 2001.
Wood carver turns champion
Vic Toweel, a 23-year-old wood carver from Benoni, became world champion in May 1950 when he convincingly outpointed Manuel Ortiz in Johannesburg. Toweel won most of the 15 rounds to become South Africa's first world bantamweight champion.
Brian Mitchell, probably one of the best South African boxers of his era, won the WBA junior lightweight title in 1986 - and defended it a world record 12 times before retiring in 1991.
As South Africa was isolated internationally because of its apartheid policies, Mitchell became a true ‘road warrior’, defending his title almost exclusively abroad.
He finished his career with 46 wins, one loss and two draws. His 12 successful defences of the junior lightweight title remain the record in that division to this day.
Mitchell is now a successful boxing trainer with a stable of promising young boxers. He has guided at least two boxers to world titles, including Namibian Harry Simon and South African Cassius Baloyi. Read More