Reigning World Boxing Organisation (WBO) bantamweight champion Zolani “Last Born” Tete was the star of the night as he scooped the biggest awards at the Boxing SA awards on Friday night in Port Elizabeth.
Tete walked away with the coveted Male Boxer of the Year Award and also received a Special Achievement Award at the South African Boxing Awards ceremony at the Boardwalk Casino in Port Elizabeth last night.
Meanwhile, World Boxing Federation (WBF) bantamweight champion, Bukiwe “Anaconda” Nonina, won the Female Boxer of the Year award beating Noni Tenge and Mapule Ngubane, who were also looking at bagging the gong.
”I’m very happy to win this award once again. This shows that the award I won last year in Durban was not heavy on me. I want to thank everybody who supported me and not forgetting my trainer,” said Nonina, who was born in Dutywa 26 years ago.
Tete faced stiff competition for the Male Boxer of the Year as he was nominated in the same category with International Boxing Organisation(IBO) cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena, South African welterweight king Thulani Mbenge and Azinga Fuzile, who is the current SA, International Boxing Federation (IBF) Continental Africa and World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth featherweight champion.
“I’m very happy, very excited and humbled by thisachievement. I’m the main boxer of the year this year. Hopefully, next year I will defend this title and definitely I will defend it. I’m so excited and I don’t even know what to say,” said Tete, who is scheduled to defend his WBO title against 42-year-old Omar Narvaez from Argentina in London in April.
“I can never say I have done something better than them. I have done everything that the guys are also doing, but I have just added little more taste in it. The fact that I fight outside the country worked for me. Winning the world title in April last year has worked in my favour. I think I’ve done enough to win the award this evening.”
It was a night to remember for Team Tete as the boxer’s manager Mlandeli Tengimfene won the Manager of the Year award for the second successive year. Tengimfene, who won the award at the 2016 South African Boxing Awards in Durban last year, beat other contenders SihleMnguni and Lucky Ramagole to go home victorious.
“I’m very, very happy I don’t want to lie. This one belong to the people who have bene teaching how to manage people. There is a guy called ThobileThomas who taught me the ropes, he taught me how best you can handle a person. Doing this job of managing boxers I think I got lots of lessons from him. I’m very happy today and winning the award proves that Mla you are the best and you just have to do something else,” said Tengimfene, who is the managing director at All Winners’ Boxing Club where Tete trains under veteran trainer Loyiso Mtya.
Full list of all the winners:
- Male Boxer of the Year – Zolani Tete
- Female Boxer of the Year – Bukiwe Nonina
- Male Fight of the Year – Gideon Buthelezi vs. Angel Aviles
- Female Fight of the Year – Noni Tenge vs. Prudends Mapule Ngubane
- Male Prospect of the Year – Lunga Sitemela
- Female Prospect of the Year – Simangele Hadebe
- Matchmaker of the Year – Luyanda Kana
- Media Person of the Year – James Gradidge
- Female Ring Official of the Year – Pumeza Zinakile
- Male Ring Official of the Year – Deon Dwarte
- Most Promising Official of the Year – Mandisi Mkile
- Knockout of the Year – Lerato Dlamini vs. Sinethemba Bam
- Trainer of the Year – Colin Nathan
- Promoter of the Year – Ayanda Matiti (Xaba Promotions)
- Most Promising Promoter – Shereen Hunter (Unleashed – Combat Sport Events)
- Manager of the Year – Mlandeli Tengimfene
- Life Time Achievement Awards – Thamsanqa Archie Jonas, Basil Brice, Derrick Watson, Elijah ‘Tap-Tap’ Makhathini
- Special Achievement Award – Zolani Tete, Joy Greyvenstein, Nick Lourens