WBF ANNUAL AWARDS 2013
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR – DANIE VENTER (South Africa)
Having been stopped in his final 2012 outing by world class Thabiso Mchunu, Danie Venter began 2013 with two low key wins over Nsitu Mbaya (TKO 1) and future WBF All Africa Heavyweight Champion Elvis Moyo (W 6) and it certainly did not look like he would become the WBF’s ‘Fighter of the Year’. But it took him less than a round last September to achieve just that when the man from Johannesburg climbed into the ring against Shawn Cox from Barbados. Aside from a decision loss in Italy some four years ago, Cox had only lost against the outstanding Denis Lebedev, not before rocking the Russian down to his boots. So no expert expected the fast and sudden ending that Venter achieved by blowing away Cox in the very first round to annex the vacant WBF World Cruiserweight crown. A stunning result indeed. Thus, Venter went from a loser to 3-0 in 2013 plus a world title to boot in most impressive fashion – impressive enough to merit the ‘Fighter of the Year’ award.
2012 Marco Antonio Rubio (Mexico)
2011 Michael Grant (USA)
2010 Evander Holyfield (USA)
2009 William Gare (South Africa)
FEMALE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR – CHRISTINA HAMMER (Germany)
Despite an abundance of contenders for the ‘Female Fighter of the Year’ award, who produced many outstanding performances in 2013, there can be little doubt that German beauty Christina Hammer repeated her feat from 2011 to again snatch the price with a banner year. The long-reigning WBF Womens World Middleweight Champion began her 2013 campaign by dethroning previously undefeated WBF Womens World Supermiddleweight Champion Zita Zatyko to become a two-weight world champ. A daunting task for many to tackle a reigning champ who never lost before, but Christina made it look easy and did not even conceed a single round. Then it was back down to middleweight for two successful defence against Swedens Mikaela Lauren (W 10) and Mexico’s Carmen Garcia, who was smashed in less than a round. Overall, Christina’s 2013 opponents had a record of 44-4-1 and the 23-year-old at worst lost two rounds on one official’s card against those three opponents. We are talking a legend in the making!
2012 Holly Holm (USA)
2011 Christina Hammer (Germany)
2010 Ramona Kühne (Germany)
2009 Natascha Ragosina (Russia)
FIGHT OF THE YEAR – LASZLO TOTH W 10 GEORGI UNGIADZE
International Welterweight Championship – December 7 in Vienna, Austria
Previously, only world championships were awarded ‘Fight of the Year’ honours, so for nothing more than an International title bout to make it means it must have been outstanding. Well, it was memorable. Hungary’s Toth was the undefeated but untested, although highly touted, youngster while Georgia’s Ungiadze had faced ‘em all in 39 career fights with 16 losses. Mind you, the battle hardened man from Tbilisi came to Vienna meaning business. At the first bell he came out hell-bent on destruction, inflicting a terrible cut over Toth’s left eye and floored his opponent heavily. Ungiadze let his fist fly like there’s no tomorrow and Toth needed all the balls he could gather to make it out of the opening stanza. But the Hungarian passed the test of character, and for the next nine rounds both boxers exchanged leather in a most frantic way. The judges gave it, deservedly, to Toth by the narrowest of margins: 95:94, 96:95 and 97:94.
2012 Juan José Montes vs Oscar Ibarra I
2011 Ali Funeka vs Zolani Marali I
2010 Evander Holyfield vs Francois Botha
2009 Kreshnik Qato vs Fabio Liggieri
FEMALE FIGHT OF THE YEAR – RAJA AMASHEH W 10 EVA VORABERGER
Womens World Superflyweight Championship – September 7 in Saarbruecken, Germany
It’s a common phrase used for fights which were in one way or another very good to say it was a credit to boxing. And it fits perfectly for the WBF’s ‘Female Fight of the Year’ for 2013. Again, there was no shortage of candidates for this honor in a year which was the best ever for womens boxing in the WBF, but Raja Amasheh’s 10-rounder with Eva Voraberger for the vacant WBF Womens World Superflyweight title, contested on last year’s WBF World Convention in Saarbruecken, Germany, stood out, because not only was it a real advertisement for womens boxing, but also because it lived up to what was expected from the two warrior’s records. Germany’s Amasheh – who got the unanimous nod when all was said and done – went in undefeated at 15-0-1 (4) while Austria’s Voraberger was 16-2 (8) and both rode a 15-fight winning streak. So both on paper as well as in the ring, it could hardly get better.
2012 Holly Holm vs Anne Sophie Mathis II
2011 Christina Hammer vs Maria Lindberg
2010 Myriam Lamare vs Lucia Morelli
2009 Myriam Lamare vs Ann Marie Saccurato
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – TIMY SHALA (Austria)
The last two winners of the WBF’s ‘Newcomer of the Year’ award proceeded to progress from their respective Intercontinental titles to win WBF world titles – and the 2013 ‘Newcomer of the Year’ looked poised in the past year to follow suit. Timy Shala of Austria via Kosovo went 3-0 in 2013, winning the WBF Intercontinental lightheavyweight title against tough Tomas Adamek in May. He followed that with a marking-time stoppage of Vasile Dragomir before scoring a convincing KO of Mounir Toumi – who in his previous fight had upset highly rated Frenchman Tony Averlant for the WBF’s International title! That fight underlined how much Shala has progressed in 2013, because he came through a tough tussle with flying colours. The 28-year-old Shala is now 18-0 (8) and definately primed for big things in 2014.
2012 Timur Akhundov (Ukraine)
2011 Nadjib Mohammedi (France)
2010 Yvan Mendy (France)
2009 Goran Delic (Bosnia & Hercegovina)
FEMALE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – NATALIA SMIRNOVA (Russia)
Granted, at the age of 37, it may raise an eyebrow or two to talk about a fighter being a ‘Newcomer of the Year’ – but then again, weren’t we all taught not to talk about a woman’s age? In any case, Russia’s Natalia Smirnova won the award thanks to her amassing a perfect 7-0 (4) record in her first year as a professional with the icing on the cake being winning the WBF Womens Intercontinental Lightweight title to close out a fantastic 2013. Maybe Natalia left it late to turn to the paid ranks, but don’t dare to bet against her winning a world title in 2014. She just might have you raising your eyebrows again…
2012 Raja Amasheh (Germany)
2011 Zita Zatyko (Hungary)
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR – OLIVER HEIB & BERNARD NOTAR (Germany)
Two shows, seven (!) World Boxing Federation championship fights, plus invaluable assistance in staging the II. WBF World Convention last year and more lined up to follow in this year. If that aren’t the credentials of a worthy Promoter of the Year award winner, then what is it? Simply put, DOG Eventboxing, the company of partners Oliver Heib and Bernard Notar, has developed into one of the most important supporters of the WBF during 2013 and thus made the choice rather easy in this category.
2012 Oswaldo Kuchle & Hector Garcia (Mexico)
2011 Damian Michael (South Africa)
2010 Ylli Ndroqi (Albania)
2009 Ulf Steinforth (Germany)
PRESIDENTS SPECIAL SERVICE AWARD – JENNIFER SALINAS (Bolivia)
Jennifer Salinas made a whole country proud when she won the WBF Womens World Superbantamweight title last year and was subsequently invited to an audience with Bolivia’s president of state, at which she proudly displayed her blue WBF belt. But that’s not the reason the 31-year-old ‘Bolivian Queen’ was given the WBF Presidents Special Service award. In fact, for a change the reason is not anything she did for the WBF, but something she did and still does for humanity. Salinas has visited orphanages, children’s cancer and leukemia centers, as well as very poor communities both in Bolivia and the USA, bringing them hope and words of encoragement. She made donations of clothes and food as well as boxing equipment for local gyms in Bolivia and has done this for several years. What’s even better, you probably read it here for the first time on a larger-scale medium, because Jennifer prefers to keep these activities out of the public because her motivation is her desire to help, nothing else. The WBF is proud for such a decent lady to wear our belt and hopefully it gives her even more of a platform.
2012 Oliver Heib & Bernhard Notar (Germany)
2011 Dr. Humbert Furgoni (France)
2010 John Sheppard (England)
2009 Anila Qato (Albania)
TRAINER OF THE YEAR – JUAN CARLOS CONTRERAS (Mexico)
44-year old Contreras has made it a speciality of his in 2013 to be a success guarantee for female fighters and thus at the same time became the logical choice for the WBF’s ‘Trainer of the Year’ award. Under his guidance, Ana Arrazola finally became a world champion, winning and successfully defending the WBF Womens World Lightflyweight crown last year. Arrazola’s Mexican countrywoman Yesenia Martinez Castrejon had Contreras training her when she came within a whisker of dethroning WBF Womens World Strawweight Champion Anne Sophie Da Costa, losing a disputed majority decision in France. Also, Susana Cruz Perez, who unsuccessfully challenged for the WBF Womens World Flyweight title in 2011, finally came good in 2013 with two important wins. In her corner: Juan Carlos Contreras, ‘Trainer of the Year’ and sure to become a major force as a trainer in female boxing.
2012 Alan Toweel (South Africa)
2011 Dirk Dzemski (Germany)
REFEREE OF THE YEAR – EDWARD MARSHALL (South Africa)
When Nelson Mandela was still a prisoner of Apartheid, Edward (“Eddie”) Marshall already was regarded as a very good referee. Over the years, the Cape Towner developed into an outstanding referee and today, at age 59, is arguably at the height of his career. Little surprise than that the man who was at his time one of South Africa’s best amateurs, but never turned pro himself, is used often by the World Boxing Federation. In 2013, he refereed an impressive nine WBF championships in different countries – and each and every time did the job in such a way that there were no arguments about Marshall certainly being the WBF’s ‘Referee of the Year’ for 2013.
2012 Tonio Tiberi (Luxembourg)
2011 Juan José Ramirez (Mexico)