Eastern Cape may call itself the Boxing Mecca in the land and gloat about hosting the national boxing awards next February but it is likely to come second best to Gauteng in the awards function.
This follows a barren boxing year for the once highly active boxing province with only 10 tournaments being organised this year.
Stretching from Port Elizabeth up to the former Transkei, the province fell far short of the number of shows it organised last year.
The fall is over 60% as the province organised 27 tournaments last year.
This while Gauteng has spiked with 29 shows organised this year.
And the land of gold has three more shows coming up this weekend which will increase the number to 32.
This means the monopoly of the once boxing Mecca province at next year’s awards it will host will come to an end.
Last year the province, mostly East London, dominated the awards in Durban with all the major accolades won by its boxing personalities.
While it missed out on the promoter of the year award in disputed circumstances, the province won the boxer of the year, female fight of the year, knockout of the year to mention but a few.
It was also widely tipped to win the matchmaker of the year but Luyanda Kana was upstaged by Gauteng veteran official Ruben Rasodi.
And the two awards are likely to elude the province again given the low number of tournaments compared to Gauteng.
Kana, who missed out on the award with the promise that he might get it this year, will likely go down again to Gauteng Abbey Mnisi who has been responsible for almost all the tournaments organised in the province of gold.
The promoter of the year award will again return to Gauteng due to the number of promoters that are keeping the fires burning there.
Boxing SA-Eastern Cape manager Phakamile Jacobs confirmed that 2017 has been the worst year for boxing in the province.
“It has been one of the poorer years for us as the province,” he said.
“There are a number of factors for this year but I think the fact that many promoters did not get funding from the government contributed to this poor run.”
Indeed provincial department of sport, recreation, arts and culture has been the major funder of tournaments in the province in previous years.
But this year only two promoters received funding from the department adding to the barren run.
The financial windfall from the Buffalo City Metro also dried up with the municipality yet to release promoters who will benefit from tenders invited for funding.
While it is gloom in the traditional boxing province, Gauteng is basking in glory with its BSA provincial manager Archie Nyingwa boasting high numbers of tournaments in a long time.
“We have had promoters some new applying to organise tournaments so much that I am sure some were never been heard before,” he said.
“There are plenty of new guys coming on board and that has helped us a great deal.
“For instance we are able to host three tournaments in one weekend like it will be the case this coming weekend.”
Nyingwa took a jibe at the Eastern Cape saying that it must forget about winning the promoter and the matchmaker of the year award.
“I feel sorry for Kana because I know he wants that award,” he said.
EC will get a minor reprieve next month when it hosts four tournaments to close out the year.