Tommy’s our SA Boxer of the Year
Thanks to Tommy Oosthuizen and a couple of other stars, SA boxing stayed afloat during a disappointing year.
Statistics show that 2012 was one of the poorest years in SA boxing in recent times. But IBO super-middleweight champion Oosthuizen earned respect at international level and Keith Nkosi emerged as an exciting prospect.
Oosthuizen is SuperSport.com's SA Boxer of the Year and we have no hesitation in naming Nkosi as our Prospect of the Year.
Spectators and SuperSport viewers saw some memorable fights during 2012 but it is a sad fact that SA boxers were involved in only 17 “world” title fights.
And only 19 SA title fights took place during the year, giving supporters little to cheer about. One example of the lack of action is that Wiseman Dlomo won the vacant SA heavyweight title on April 29 last year and has never defended it.
The SA junior heavyweight title is vacant and a number of champions did not defend their titles during 2012.
Tshepang Mohale (light-heavyweight), Balemo Waliya (super-middleweight), Christopher Buthelezi (middleweight), Nkululeko Mhlongo (junior middleweight), Godfrey Nzimande (junior lightweight) and Luzuko Siyo (junior flyweight) – who relinquished the title in January – faced no challengers.
At international level, six South Africans fought for titles offered by the IBF, eight for IBO belts, two for World Boxing Federation titles and one for a World Boxing Foundation belt.
The SA boxers won 11 of these 17 fights. Three were for IBF titles and the others were for belts offered by minor organisations, the IBO, WBF and WB Foundation.
At the end of the year, seven South Africans held belts awarded by one of the “world’ organisations.
They were Oosthuizen (IBO super-middleweight), Chris van Heerden (IBO welterweight), Hekkie Budler (IBO strawweight), Lubabalo Msutu (WBF bantamweight), Zolani Marali (WBF junior welterweight), Lovemore Ndou (WB Foundation welterweight) and IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane, the standout SA fighter of the year.
Oosthuizen was the most active champion. He won four fights; three of them successful title defences against Serge Yannick, Rowland Bryant and Fulgencio Zuniga.
Among the landmark bouts for SA boxers in 2012 were:
In March, Kaizer Mabuza stopped Steve Wills of Australia to take the IBO junior welterweight belt. But he lost it to Khabib Allaqkhverdiev in June. The Russian beat him inside four rounds.
Also in March, Jeffrey Mathebula beat Takalani Ndlovu for the IBF junior featherweight belt. But he lost it to Nonitio Donaire in July in a fight in which the WBO title was also at stake.
Nkosinathi Joyi made a successful defence of his IBF strawweight belt against Japan’s Katsunari Takayama in March but was knocked out in the seventh round when he faced Mario Rodriguez in Guasave, Mexico, in September.
Only Joyi (No 7), Oosthuizen (4), Jeffrey Mathebula (4) and Mtahlane (3) were ranked in their divisions by The Ring magazine at the end of the year.
Mthalane is probably the best SA fighter, pound for pound, but he has had only four fights since September 2010. His only fight in 2012 was against Ricardo Nunez in Panama City in September when he won on an eighth-round stoppage.
Others who impressed during 2012 were Oosthuizen and Budler. But the standard of boxing in some national title fights was well below par, as was the officiating in several fights.
Thanks to SuperSport, fans in Africa were privileged to watch live television coverage of many memorable fights.
SuperBoxing complemented the TV coverage with breaking news, background articles and fight reports that appeared on the website within minutes after most big fights.
BEST AND WORST IN 2012
SuperBoxing’s selections from the good and the bad, the highlights and lowlights of the year in South Africa, are:
Boxer of the Year: Tommy Oosthuizen.
Fight of the Year: Danie Venter’s fourth-round stoppage of Zack Mwekassa in the semifinal of the Super 8 cruiserweight series.
Prospect of the Year: Keith Nkosi, who looked sensational in his first-round stoppage of Warren Joubert to win the African Boxing Union title in December.
Trainer of the Year: The Peter Smith gym who steered Thabiso Mchunu all the way to winning the Super 8 cruiserweight series.
Promoters of the Year: Rodney Berman and Siphato Handi.
Punch of the Year: Keith Nkosi’s short right to the jaw that knocked Warren Joubert out 2 minutes 15 seconds into the first round of their African Boxing Union lightweight title fight .
Mismatch of the Year: Nkosinathi Joyi’s wipe-out in 2 minutes 13 seconds of Walter Rojas from Argentina in a WBA mini-flyweight eliminator in December.
Worst Decision of the Year: Gideon Buthelezi was awarded a split-decision victory over Edren Dapudong after their bout for the vacant IBO junior bantamweight title in November. Dapudong, from the Philippines, knocked Buthelezi down in the ninth round and showed better skills, but two judges made Buthelezi the winner.
Saddest Moment’s of the Year: The death of former heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders who was shot in an attempted robbery near Brits on September 23.
Upset of the Year: Seven-fight novice Aphiwe Mboyiya outpointing Sydney Maluleka to win the SA featherweight title.
SA TITLE FIGHTS
Results of all SA title fights in 2012
* All points victories were over 12 rounds
August 3 – Tsiko Mulovhedzi beat Boitshepo Mandawe on points in Johannesburg.
October 14 – Tsiko Mulovhedzi stopped Kyle Smith in the fifth round in Johannesburg.
May 12 – Mzolisi Yoyo stopped Mzukisi Mgidi in the fourth round in East London.
July 1 – Mzolisi Yoyo stopped Thembelani Chithani in the sixth round in East London.
October 21 – Mzolisi Yoyo beat Samuel Malinga on points in Mdantsane.
March 24 – Thompson Mokwana beat Patrick Malinga on points in Brakpan.
July 28 – Viwe Mdletyeni beat Thompson Mokwana on points in Mthata.
March 30 – Sabelo Jubatha beat Wonga Ntoyakhe on points in East London.
September 30 – Sydney Maluleka stopped Sabelo Jubathain in the seventh round in East London.
December 16 – Aphiwe Mboyiya beat Sydney Maluleka on points in East London.
September 9 – Macbute Sinyabi beat Oscar Chauke on points in East London.
December 8 – Macbute Sinyabi beat Pfariso Neluvhalani on points in East London.
June 29 – Toto Helebe stopped Phumzile Matyhila in the fifth round in East London.
October 28 – Miniyakhe Sityatha beat Evans Mbamba on points in East London.
October 5 – Themba Ntsele stopped Matsoake Moselesele in the 11th round in Bloemfontein.
December 9 – Lwandile Sityatha beat Themba Ntsele on points in Mdantsane.
June 2 – Simphiwe Khonco stopped Bongani Mfusi in the seventh round in East London.
September 23 – Simphiwe Khonco stopped Lutho Nkonki in the third round in Mthatha.
December 1 – Simphiwe Khonco stopped Zukisani Kwayiba in the ninth round in Mthatha.
'WORLD' TITLE FIGHTS
SA boxers in "world" title fights in 2012
March 3 – Kaizer Mabuza stopped Steve Wills (Australia) in the sixth round in Kempton Park to win the vacant IBO junior welterweight title.
March 3 – Tommy Oosthuizen stopped Serge Yannick (Cameroon) in the sixth round in Kempton Park to retain the IBO super-middleweight title.
March 24 – Jeffrey Mathebula beat 12 Takalani Ndlovu (South Africa) on points in Brakpan to win the IBF junior featherweight title.
March 30 – Nkosinathi Joyi beat Katsunari Takayama (Japan) on points in East London to retain the IBF mini flyweight title.
June 2 – Vusi Malinga lost on points to Leo Santa Cruz (Mexico) in Carson, California in a challenge for the IBF bantamweight title.
June 16 – Chris van Heerden beat Sebastian Andres Lujan (Argentina) on points in Kempton Park to retain the IBO welterweight title.
June 20 – Kaizer Mabuza lost by fourth-round knockout to Khabib Allaqkhverdiev (Russia) in Moscow, losing the IBO junior welterweight title.
July 7 – Jeffrey Mathebula lost on points to Nonito Donaire (Philippines), in Carson, California, losing the IBF title (the WBO junior featherweight title was also at stake).
August 2 –Tommy Oosthuizen beat Rowland Bryant (USA) on points in New York to retain the IBO super-middleweight title.
August 10 – Lovemore Ndou beat Gairy St Clair (Guyana) on points in Southport, Australia to win the vacant WB Foundation welterweight title.
September 1 – Nkosinathi Joyi lost on seventh-round knockout to Mario Rodriguez (Mexico) in Guasave, Mexico, losing the IBF mimimumweight title.
September 1 – Moruti Mthalane W tko 8 Ricardo Nunez (Panama), Panama City, Panama to retain the IBF flyweight title.
September 22 – Hekkie Budler beat Florante Condes (Philippines) on points in Kempton Park to retain the IBO strawweight title.
October 19 – William Gare lost on points to Alexander Brand (Colombia) in Cartagena, Colombia.in a challenge for the WBF super-middleweight title.
November 10 – Gideon Buthelezi beat Edren Dapudong (Philippines) on points in Kempton Park to win the vacant IBO junior bantamweight title.
November 10 – Tommy Oosthuizen beat Fulgencio Zuniga (Colombia) on points in Kempton Park to retain the IBO super-middleweight title.
December 8 – Zolani Marali beat Ali Funeka (South Africa) on points in East London to win the WBF junior welterweight title.
SA CHAMPIONS AT THE END OF 2012
Seven of the 16 national titles were held by Eastern Cape boxers at the end of 2012.
Heavyweight (86.18 kg and over) – Wiseman Dlomo (KwaZulu-Natal)
Cruiserweight (86.18 kg) – Vacant
Light-heavyweight (79.38 kg) – Tsepang Mohale (Gauteng)
Super-middleweight (76.20 kg) – Balemo Weliya (Eastern Cape)
Middleweight (72.58 kg) – Christopher Buthelezi (KwaZulu-Natal)
Junior middleweight (69.85 kg) – Nkululeko Mhlongo (KwaZulu-Natal)
Welterweight (66.68 kg) – Tsiko Mulovhetsi (Limpopo)
Junior welterweight (63.50 kg) – Mzolisi Yoyo (Eastern Cape)
Lightweight (61.24 kg) – Viwe Mdletyeni (Eastern Cape)
Junior lightweight (58.97 kg) – Godfrey Nzimande (Limpopo)
Featherweight (57.15 kg) – Aphiwe Mboyiya (Eastern Cape)
Junior featherweight (55.34 kg) – Macbute Sinyabi (Eastern Cape)
Bantamweight (53.52 kg) – Toto Helebi (Western Cape)
Junior bantamweight (52.16 kg) – Miniyakhe Sityatha (Eastern Cape)
Flyweight (50.85 kg) – Lwandile Sityatha (Free State)
Junior flyweight (47.63 kg) – Simphiwe Khonco (Eastern Cape)