Zantsi voted best pro­moter

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­

Mbali “Don Queen” Zantsi has been voted best pro­moter by the World Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (WBF) for 2015/16.

This was an­nounced by WBF pres­i­dent Howard Gold­berg on Fri­day, say­ing the Show­time Box­ing Pro­mo­tion boss was the first-ever pro­moter in the coun­try to get such an ac­co­lade. Zantsi is the coun­try’s first fe­male fight im­pre­sario.

Ac­cord­ing to Gold­berg, the de­ci­sion by the world gov­ern­ing body to hon­our the Port El­iz­a­beth-born Zantsi was due to the fact that she staged two ti­tle bouts in the space of four months when box­ing re­turned to SABC tele­vi­sion screens af­ter a four-year blackout.

“Her two shows fea­tured a to­tal of four WBF cham­pi­onship fights, in­clud­ing three women’s ti­tles,” said Gold­berg.

“It’s the first time in the his­tory of the WBF an­nual awards that a woman wins the Pro­moter of the Year cat­e­gory, but in this case it’s highly de­serv­ing and ap­pro­pri­ate that this young lady, who has done so much for women in box­ing in South Africa, is tak­ing home the hon­ours.”

An elated Zantsi said she was “ex­tremely hon­oured” to be recog­nised by the world body, whose head­quar­ters are in Ger­many.

“This is a huge hon­our for me to be recog­nised by the WBF for the work that I’m do­ing – to pro­mote the sport, par­tic­u­larly women’s box­ing,” said Zantsi.

“It’s hum­bling to be thanked for up­lift­ing the stan­dard of black box­ers, es­pe­cially fe­males. It shows that I’m do­ing the right thing.”

The im­pre­sario ven­tured into the fistic trade in 2003, and to date has pro­moted more than 30 fights.

Zantsi said she was grate­ful to the of­fice of the sports min­istry and Box­ing SA (BSA) for en­abling her to put women’s box­ing in the spot­light.

“In fact, BSA chair­per­son Ntambi Ravele ac­tu­ally en­sured that I got the nec­es­sary sup­port to pro­mote fights for ladies,” she said. The va­cant WBF su­per ban­tamweight ti­tle fea­tur­ing Gabisile Tsha­bal­ala and Unathi Myekeni that took place at Grace­land Casino in Se­cunda, Mpumalanga, in Au­gust – and was pro­moted by Zantsi – was voted Best Fight of the Year.

Tsha­bal­ala, who fights out of KwaZulu-Na­tal, won that bout by

ma­jor­ity de­ci­sion.


Jan­uary 5 2016: WIN­NER Mbali Zantsi is the first woman to win WBF pro­moter of

the year

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