Another year has passed and 2018 has really exceeded our expectations. New champions have been crowned, old champions moved on. WBA Oceania was presented on the big stage with fights held in front of 20,000 people in Brisbane at Suncorp stadium to a Super Lightweight defense held as far away in Glasgow-Scotland. Our titles have been so sought after, fighters from afar as Canada, Panama, Italy, Tanzania, Argentina, Denmark, Colombia and America have all tried unsuccessfully to lift our crown. In September we had 10 WBA Oceania fighters ranked in WBA world ratings, a record for any sub-region of WBA and one that won’t be broken for a while. In a calendar year, our Cruiserweight champion Mark Flanagan fought for 2 WBA world titles while our bantamweight champ Jason Moloney renounced his crown with our blessing to fight for the IBF world title in the WBSS for the Ali Trophy. While he didn’t get the chocolates, he came agonisingly close and stamped his mark on the world stage of what true Oceania fighters are like from “down under”
With all this success, we decided to put our own 2018 awards together as without the winners input, none of this would be possible.
Fighter of the Year – Andrew Moloney (18-0) His war against former 2 time world champion Luis Concepcion could be classed as the fight and stoppage of the year as the Panamanian ex world champ had no answer against this pocket dynamo known as “the monster”
Manager of the Year – Tony Tolj. Eveyone in the boxing world knows Mr T. As manager of former WBA Fighter of the Decade Chris John, he currently has 4 Oceania champions in his stable and anyone of them could be fighting for a world title very soon. He personifies the true meaning of a manager who does the best for his fighters.
Promoter of the Year – Brian Amatruda. The man responsible for making Victoria the no. 1 boxing state in Australia. Owner of Bigtime Boxing and the Melbourne Pavilion, he has no trouble filling his cards as all his shows sell out. When fighters comment on wanting to fight for the best promoter in Australia, you know there is truth behind such statements.
KO of the Year – Horn (19-1) vs Mundine (57-48-9) On such a big stage in front of millions of viewers around the world, Horn put the former WBA multi world champion on the deck in 96 secs in 1st round.
Fight of the Year – Foley (19-4-1) vs Mitchell (18-1). Massive build-up to this fight, it was a fight not to be missed. Broke the Epicentre TV viewing record and Mitchells class showed thru in the end wining an enthralling 10 round fight by unanimous decision.
Personality of the Year – Mick Gatto. What more can you say…this man is all class and everyone just loves the big guy.
Prospect of the Year – Reagan Dessaix (16-1) With 11 KO’s on his resume and only 22yrs old, this kid has a big future and already signed to fight ex world champ Blake Caparello in Feb 2019 to kick-start the year off.
Best Venue – Melbourne Pavilion. Owner Brian Amatruda has a gem here with an entertainment centre that gives punters a great view from the ground level to the balcony suites. The no.1 fight venue in Victoria but this will soon be overtaken by his newest 4000 seater stadium due to open late 2019.
Official of the Year – Ignatius Missalides. Busy and honest ref with a ton of experience and gives the fighters a fair shake.
Fighters not ranked but to watch in 2019. Willis Meehan and Liam Wilson