BSA MEDIA RELEASE
Unbeaten South African welterweight champion, Thulani “Tulz” Mbenge is modest about his nomination for the South African Boxing Awards Male Boxer of the Year.
This is despite many pundits being in agreement that Mbenge is a deserving nominee for the category due to his impressive run between December 2016 and 2017.
The ceremony to crown deserving winners will take place at the Boardwalk Hotel in Port Elizabeth on Friday, 02 February.
Mbenge, who has a professional record of 12 wins with 10 of those coming via stoppages, says he went about doing his job this past year and never thought of getting nominated for the Male Boxer of the Year award.
The Mdantsane-born Mbenge faces what could be termed as stiff competition for the award as reigning World Boxing Organisation (WBO) bantamweight champion Zolani “Last Born” Tete, SA, International Boxing Federation (IBF) Continental and World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth featherweight champion Azinga “Golden Boy” Fuzile and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena have also been nominated in the same category.
Be that as it may, Mbenge believes he is in the category to win the award: “I’m very happy that I have been nominated for this award though I didn’t expect the nomination. I think I also have to admit that I have been nominated in the same category with brilliant boxers.
“I also think the fact that I have been nominated for this award means that people acknowledge and appreciate what I whenever I enter the ring.”
This is the second time that Mbenge has been nominated for an award at the SA Boxing Awards having lost to Fuzile in the Male Prospect of the Year category last year.
Meanwhile, Mbenge says winning the award would motivate him as he is preparing to fight against Mexican boxer Diego Cruz in a 10 rounds bout at the Emperors Palace in Kempton Park on Saturday, 03 March.
DID YOU KNOW:
Home town: East London (Mdantsane)
Fights in 2017: Mbenge chalked up four wins against Mziwoxolo Ndwayana, Jayar Inson, Shaun Ness and Ntuthuko Memela last year
Useful stats: Johannesburg-based Mbenge has a twin sister Thumeka who lives in Mdantsane. The twins come from a family of five children