The International Boxing Association (AIBA) hosted its Annual Award Ceremony on Saturday night , following the conclusion of the successful 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty.
All invited guests enjoyed a wonderful meal and entertainment provided in luxurious settings by the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation. The winners of the prestigious awards were presented with a magnificent trophy and certificate. Several awards were presented albeit no AIBA Elite Female award since there were no major International women’schampionships held in 2013.
Two young women stars of the future, one of them an Olympic champion already, were amongst the recipients of these awards from AIBA President Dr Ching Kuo Wu.
The award for the Best AIBA Junior Woman Boxer of the Year went to Ireland’s Ciara Ginty.
The 15-year-old Ginty, coached by Pat McDonagh at the Geesala BC in County Mayo, became only the second Irish woman to win an AIBA World Championships gold medal after Katie Taylor, when she took the Lightweight (60kg) crown at the 2nd AIBA Women’s Junior World Championships in Albena, Bulgaria this year.
She made national news headlines back home, with the ‘Irish Independent’ newspaper reporting that Ginty had been ‘in imperious form in these Championships and continued in that vein in the finals with a superb demonstration of counter-punching’.
“I was very happy with the way I performed at the competition and I was delighted when I found out I was getting the award. I think everyone was really pleased for me,” Ciara told the assembled audience . “It is an honour to receive this and I would like to accept it on behalf of my country, my club and my family. Thank you very much”.
The best Best AIBA Youth Woman Boxer of the Year award went to Claressa Shields - the USA Boxing phenomenon and London 2012 Middleweight (75kg) Olympic Champion, Shields burst onto the elite scene when she won the gold medal at the 2011 US Women’s National Championships. Her performance in the AIBA Women’s Youth World Championships this year was sublime and she cruised to gold.
“The exciting thing about Claressa is that she represents the future of boxing. She arrived on the international scene just in time to go to the Olympics and now she is already focusing on going for that second gold medal”, said Christy Halbert (USA), Member of the AIBA Women’s Commission.
“My dream has always been to be the best boxer in the world. To receive this award from AIBA means a lot to me and it shows that I am getting there. I would like to thank my coach, AIBA and all the referees and judges, who have always been very fair to me, thank you very much”, Claressa said.
The award for the Best AIBA Junior Woman Boxer of the Year went to Ciara Ginty (Ireland)
15-year-old Ginty, coached by Pat McDonagh at the Geesala BC in County Mayo, became only the second Irish woman to win an AIBA World Championships gold medal after Katie Taylor, when she took the Lightweight (60kg) crown at the 2nd AIBA Women’s Junior World Championships in Albena, Bulgaria this year.
She made national news headlines in her home country, with the Irish Independent newspaper reporting that Ginty had been “in imperious form in these Championships and continued in that vein in the finals with a superb demonstration of counter-punching”.
“I was very happy with the way I performed at the competition and I was delighted when I found out I was getting the award. I think everyone was really pleased for me,” Ciara told the assembled audience . ”It is an honour to receive this and I would like to accept it on behalf of my country, my club and my family. Thank you very much”.
Best AIBA Junior Man Boxer of the Year: Shakur Stevenson (USA)
The 16-year-old is the first American boxer ever to win the major accolade. The young southpaw, who has lightning fast hands and fantastic movement won the Light Bantamweight (52kg) category of the AIBA Junior World Championships in Kiev this October.
“It feels great to win this award and especially to be the first boxer from the United States to ever win it”, Stevenson said a few weeks ago. “I worked really hard with my coach Pedro (Roque) this year and it definitely paid off. I’m going to keep training hard and go after my goal of winning an Olympic gold medal”.
Unfortunately, Shakur was unable to attend the ceremony so his award was accepted by Mr Ray Silvas, from USA Boxing on his behalf.
The Best AIBA Elite Male Boxer of the Year: Daniyar Yeleussiov (Kazakhstan)
Kazakhstan’s national team captain has been outstanding throughout this competition, leading his national side to one of the best results experienced by any team at a World Championships. A talented and impressive all round Welterweight (69kg), Yeleussinov used his composure and exceptional ring craft to dominate his opposition. He and his team have consistently made the right tactical choices and the boxer himself has made some world class opposition look almost ordinary. Consequently, Daniyar Yeleussinov is deservedly the 2013 World Champion and AIBA Elite Man Boxer of 2013.
“I would like to thank the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation for his support and also my coaches. I would also like to thank all the members of AIBA for offering me such an amazing award”, said the boxer.
Best AIBA Referee & Judge of the Year: Mik Basi (England)
An AIBA 5-Star R&J who has demonstrated his talent in both AIBA and WSB competitions for many years, Basi is a model for his fellow colleagues and is always keen to give advice. A little over a year ago, he took the Olympic Oath at the London 2012 opening ceremony, on behalf of all the Referees and Judges of the Games. This was a source of huge pride for AIBA.
“I thought after London 2012 that my boxing career could not get any better. On receiving this award however, I can state that it just did”, said Basi. “I’d like to thank my family without whom I could not be here. I would also like thank President Wu for a wonderful World Championships. I am indebted to Mr Terry Smith, who many years ago saw something in me and encouraged me to become a better referee. Finally thanks to AIBA for developing and overseeing the implementation of the robust 5 star referee program. I would like to accept this award on behalf of all the referee’s and judges. Thank you very much”.
AIBA President Wu closed the ceremony by thanking everyone for their hard work, in particular the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation for hosting both the Awards Ceremony and the World Championships. “I think you can see that we have here on the stage some of the best people in the boxing world, they have worked extremely hard for their sport and they are all very well deserving of this award”.
You can find details of all the awards on AIBA.ORG