The Boardwalk Casino in Port Elizabeth has been all but confirmed as the venue for the Boxing SA awards.
This was revealed by BSA chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka after he attended an inspection mission at the venue with the provincial department of sport, recreation, arts and culture last week.
Although the official confirmation is yet to be made, Lejaka is confident that finally the venue, which has been a stumbling block, will be confirmed.
“We are all but confident that the awards would be held at the Boardwalk Casino in Port Elizabeth,” he said.
“This is a huge relief because now it is helping us to go ahead with our logistical planning.”
However the original date of January 26 has been changed to February 2 as the venue has already been booked for the initial date.
There was uncertainty on whether the awards would be held in Port Elizabeth or East London after provincial sports MEC Pemmy Majodina announced at the return of the awards ceremony in Durban that Eastern Cape would be next in line.
Although the Boardwalk was the first preference due to its existing relations with the department owing to it serving as hosts for provincial sports awards, East London later emerged as likely venue due to boxing popularity in the region.
Several meetings were held between the department and Buffalo City Metro but the only ideal venue East London ICC was far more expensive.
Majodina then said taking over the awards as hosts was up to BCM to come on board.
BSA has already released its nomination forms and rule book on its website for fans to vote for their preferred category winners.
The nominations opened last Friday and will be closed on December 6 with the awards adjudication committee set to meet a week earlier to start sifting through the various category nominations.
Among the criteria for nominations include:
l All nominations must be on the nomination form;
l Anyone can nominate but no one is allowed to nominate him/herself; and
l Nominations must be for outstanding performance during period October 1 2016 to October 31 2017.
Lejaka said the adjudication committee would meet on November 29 to start sorting out the nominations.
Lejaka said he was hopeful that the awards would be well organised and leave an indelible mark on boxing calendar as it was the case when they were hosted in Durban this past January.
“We are striving to improve on our previous organisation because remember in Durban there were many lessons learnt as they were returning for the first time after a long time,” he said.
BSA has retained the number of categories at 18 with the dominant ones being the boxers of the year in both the male and female categories.
Last year the awards were won by Eastern Cape boxers Xolisani Ndongeni and Bukiwe Nonina respectively.
Eastern Cape boxing nominees dominated the awards in Durban.