Mokaila wants to be world’s top box­ing ref

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Sylvia Mokaila says she is proud to win Box­ing SA’s (BSA’s) Fe­male Ring Of­fi­cial of the Year award and has now set her sights on win­ning a world hon­our in the near fu­ture.

One of the coun­try’s finest of­fi­cials, who has han­dled nu­mer­ous lo­cal and world title fights as judge and ref­eree, Mokaila distin­guished her­self by be­ing hon­oured at the BSA awards at Inkosi Al­bert Luthuli In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Dur­ban last Satur­day. She beat fel­low con­tes­tants Siya Vabaza and Phumeza Si­nakile to the count to romp home with the award.

The 43-year-old Mokaila, who hails from Lo­manya­neng Vil­lage in Mafikeng, North West, was voted for be­cause of her out­stand­ing judg­ing of bouts last year, in­clud­ing of­fi­ci­at­ing at the SA and World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Pan-African cruis­er­weight title fight be­tween Kevin Ler­ena and Johnny Muller at Em­per­ors Palace in April. Ler­ena won by a 10th-round stop­page, thanks to Mokaila’s ac­cu­rate judg­ing of the match-up on the night.

“Be­ing voted the coun­try’s best fe­male ring of­fi­cial makes me ex­tremely proud of the role I play as a judge and ref­eree,” said Mokaila.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to han­dling more world title fights in the near fu­ture and ul­ti­mately be­ing voted the world’s best of­fi­cial recog­nised by the top global sanc­tion­ing box­ing bod­ies.”

Her wish is to par­tic­i­pate in in­ter­na­tional bouts fea­tur­ing the best in world box­ing. She has han­dled nu­mer­ous in­ter­na­tional con­tests in coun­tries such as Mex­ico, the US, Ger­many, Namibia, Ghana, Zam­bia, Zim­babwe and the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo. Mokaila started of­fi­ci­at­ing in the am­a­teur ranks in 1996. She grad­u­ated to the top of the pro­fes­sional stage in 1999 after at­tend­ing a course at the Pre­to­ria High Per­for­mance Cen­tre un­der the tu­tor­ship of in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed ref­eree Stan­ley Christodoulou.

Her wish is to see more young women take up box­ing in fu­ture.

“At the mo­ment it is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to en­cour­age young women to take up box­ing as their sport of choice be­cause box­ing is not as highly ex­posed as soc­cer, rugby and cricket in our com­mu­ni­ties.”

Mokaila also hopes to of­fi­ci­ate in fights in front of her North West home fans at venues such as the Mma­batho Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, The Lost City and Sun City Casino Re­sort.

“In the mean­time, I am also ready to com­mence a process of plough­ing back by as­sist­ing the youth of our coun­try to de­velop not only as pro­fes­sion­als, but also open an am­a­teur box­ing academy,” she said.

PHOTO: SIYANDA MAYEZA

R4.3 bil­lion TOP REF Sylvia Mokaila with celebrity box­ers at the BSA box­ing awards last Satur­day. Mokaila was voted the best fe­male of­fi­cial

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