Xaba Promotions and Events (XPE) made history at the IBF Convention currently under way in St Pietersburg, US by scooping the most active Promoter of the Year for the Africa, Middle East and Persian Gulf award.
XPE became the first ever promoter from the Eastern Cape to be bestowed with an international award.
XPE won the award for a series of tournaments they organised which saw a number of their boxers fighting for the IBF regional titles.
XPE boss Ayanda Matiti, who is the only promoter from SA at the convention, said he was honoured to be bestowed with the accolade.
“This award is for Africa as a whole and I am happy to represent my continent and my country at this prestigious event,” he said.
While other world bodies choose to demarcate their regional operations per continent, the IBF has combined Africa, Middle East and Persian Gulf under one region.
This makes Matiti’s achievement even more telling as it does not confine his work in Africa but beyond to the Middle East and Persian Gulf.
Matiti, who controversially missed out on winning the promoter of the year honours in the recent national boxing awards, said the honour was a perfect acknowledgement for the XPE brand as it celebrates 10 years of its existence.
“We are elated to be formally acknowledged as an international brand and I dedicate this award to my father Mvelase Edward Matiti. I wish he was still alive to witness the strides achieved by his family at the world stage.”
Matiti said the next step was to steer his fighters to IBF titles and continue with his activity at the world stage.
He is hoping to follow on the footsteps of Branco Sports Promotion (BSP) which became the first ever promoter in the country to win the IBF promoter of the year.
Sadly, BSP has since become dormant while XPE seem to have taken over the baton.
Matiti hailed the IBF for opening doors for SA boxers even during the apartheid era.
“The IBF is responsible for us to first see a world champion in the flesh when our own Welcome Ncita became their first ever champion from South Africa,” he said.
“It is only fitting that we are now reconnecting the IBF with the country and specifically East London where Ncita hails and having played a role to recognise his achievement this award could not be more appropriate.”
While he was an overwhelming favourite to win the Boxing SA promoter of the year award before losing out to less glamorous Reel Steel Promotions, Matiti is already in possession of the award for the most promising promoter of the year, which he won in less than three years in the boxing promotion business.
But now he is regarded as the best black promoter in the land, often organising his shows without television coverage.