Fighter Of The Year
  Taylor Mabika (Gabon)

WBF World Cruiserweight Champion

Previous Winners:

2015: Alexander Brand (Colombia)
2014: Isaac Rodrigues (Brazil)
2013: Danie Venter (South Africa)
2012: Marco Antonio Rubio (Mexico)
2011: Michael Grant (USA)

2010: Evander Holyfield (USA)
2009: William Gare (South Africa)
- One could be forgiven for not putting his money on any award for Taylor Mabika last February, after he drew with journeyman Sylvain Luce. But sometimes, a track racer is behind for 90 meters and during the final 10 meters leaves everyone else behind in a most breathtaking manner. That’s how the pride of Gabon got to win his WBF Fighter of the Year award. In June, Mabika stopped Germany’s Lars Buchholz to grab hold of the WBF International cruiserweight title – so far, so good, but he wasn’t on his last 10 meters just yet. Those came just two weeks before 2016 was over when he lured WBF World Cruiserweight champion Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf to Libreville. The Algerian title holder, making his second defense, came to Gabon’s capital a healthy favorite, however, Makiba’s last-10-meter sprint was about to begin. In a wild war, both boxers showed incredible courage and will-power, but it was underdog Mabika, 16-2-1 (9), who came out a split decision winner. A year that began in rather disappointing manner suddenly turned into the biggest and most successful one for the new world champion. Not a day too late.
 Female Fighter Of The Year
  Isabel Millan (Mexico)

WBF World Flyweight Champion

Previous Winners:

2015: Nicole Wesner (Germany)
2014: Eva Voraberger (Austria)
2013: Christina Hammer (Germany)
2012: Holly Holm (USA)
2011: Christina Hammer (Germany)
2010: Ramona Kühne (Germany)
2009: Natascha Ragosina (Russia)
- The dangerous Millan made 2016 her big year, after she had already served notice of her arrival by capturing the WBF International title a year earlier. In February, the Mexican warmed up with an 8-round decision win over Karla Valenzuela. Two months later “La Estrella” went to France to dethrone WBF World Flyweight champion Amira Hamzaoui in a hell of a fight. That was followed in August by a non-title victory Aracely Palacios and in December, Isabel beat Sonia Osorio in her first title defense. So when the year was over, the tough Millan was 4-0 (to bring her overall record to 18-2-1) and a reigning world champion with a successful defense under her belt. Now the – dessert – icing on the cake came by winning the WBF Female Fighter of the Year award. It will be hard for the 31-year-old to top that this year, but with her grit and determination one better doesn’t bet against it.
 Fight Of The Year
  Christopher Sebire vs. Martin Antonio Coggi

World Light Welterweight Title (22.10 / Amiens, France)

Previous Winners:

2015: Jan Zaveck vs. Sasha Yengoyan
2014: Rafik Harutjunjan vs. Ilya Prymak
2013: Laszlo Toth vs. Giorgi Ungiadze
2012: Juan José Montes vs. Oscar Ibarra I
2011: Ali Funeka vs. Zolani Marali I
2010: Evander Holyfield vs
. Francois Botha
2009: Kreshnik Qato vs. Fabio Liggieri

- Simply put, Sebire’s often under-appreciated skills and tactical brain matched against Coggi’s will and determination made this one a real treat to watch. A deserved winner of the WBF Fight of the Year award, these two blended real well and had fans applauding many times during this 12-rounder at the Cique Jules Verne in Amiens, France. Any time that Coggi, with his famous father Juan Martin in his corner, put the pressure on the Frenchman, Sebire knew some answers and thwarted the attack. But before things started to get boring, Coggi willed himself back again for yet another exchange. The pace of this fight for the vacant WBF World Light Welterweight crown never reached a low, but when Sebire emerged a deserved points winner, there were no complains from the Argentine corner.

 Female Fight Of The Year
  Hyun-Mi Choi vs. Unathi Myekeni

World Super Featherweight Title (21.5 / Jinju, South Korea)

Previous Winners:

2015: Gabisile Tshabalala vs. Unathi Myekeni
2014: Rola El Halabi vs. Victoria Cisneros
2013: Raja Amasheh vs. Eva Voraberger
2012: Holly Holm vs. Anne Sophie Mathis II
2011: Christina Hammer vs. Maria Lindberg
2010: Myriam Lamare vs. Lucia Morelli
2009: Myriam Lamare vs. Ann Marie Saccurato

- From the outset, the WBF Female Fight of the Year 2016 for the vacant World Super Featherweight title was something special. South Africa’s Unathi Myekeni was a former WBF World Super Bantamweight champion with just two career setbacks, both on disputed majority decisions. But Hyun Mi Choi – a true all-Korean superstar – could top that: She had negotiated a full dozen of WBA world championships in two weight divisions without a single loss and now was looking for the icing on the cake: The coveted World Boxing Federation crown. So on May 21 in Jinju, South Korea, these two big names clashed and delivered a classic. However, despite trying mightily, Choi could not stop Myekeni and had to settle for a clear, unanimous decision win. On a curious side note, it was second time unlucky for the South African girl, as Myekeni was involved for the second time running in the WBF’s Female Fight of the Year, however, both times on the losing end of the judges’ scores. Hyun Mi Choi, on the other hand, solidified her standing as one of female boxing’s biggest stars.

 Newcomer Of The Year
  Malik Zinad (Libya) & Andre Valavanis (Egypt)

International Light Heavyw. & Super Welterw. Champions

Previous Winners:

2015: Frans Ramabola (South Africa)
2014: Zhang Junlong (China)
2013: Timy Shala (Austria)
2012: Timur Akhundov (Ukraine)
2011: Nadjib Mohammedi (France)
2010: Yvan Mendy (France)
2009: Goran Delic (Bosnia & Hercegovina)

- For the first time ever, we couldn’t pick a clear winner in any awards category, so here we go with two fighters who jointly share the honors as WBF Newcomer of the Year for 2016. Malik Zinad, the young Libyan by way of Malta, crashed onto the scene last year like a hurricane hitting Europe. The 23-year-old Light Heavyweight won all his five fights in 2016 to go to 7-0 (6) overall, with seek-and-destroy stops in France, Malta, Hungary, Slovenia and Germany. Along the way, Zinad stopped Attila Palko in six to wrest the WBF International title and made a quick defense, stopping Beka Aduashvili to retain. Watch out for more knockouts in the future from Malik, who’s got the word “champion” written all over him. Very much the same goes for Egypt’s “King Cheetah” André Valavanis: Five fights too last year, five knockouts scored for a career total of 6-0 (6). Of Greek descent, the 24-year-old prospect clinched first the WBF All Africa welterweight title and followed that up by winning the WBF International crown at Super Welterweight. Another knockout artist who seems destined to not just keep putting them down, but to have success on the international stage soon.

 Female Newcomer Of The Year
  Segolene Lefebvre (France)

Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Champion

Previous Winners:

2015: Dan Bi Kim (South Korea)
2014: Melanie Zwecker (Germany)
2013: Natalia Smirnova (Russia)
2012: Raja Amasheh (Germany)
2011: Zita Zatyko (Hungary)

- The 23-year-old from North France was a top amateur and as a professional is now a top prospect plus a hot candidate for world honors sooner rather than later. “Sego” turned pro in early 2015 and 15 months later won the French Super Featherweight title. She is now the WBF Intercontinental champion at Super Bantamweight, thanks to a win last November over former world title challenger Gabriella Mezei, and unbeaten at 6-0. While not a big puncher, Lefebvre is as ice-cool as they come in the ring and goes about outclassing opponents with a true poker face – and don’t be surprised if she hits big time in ’17.

 Promoter Of The Year
  Kenji Maki (Japan)

Previous Winners:

2015: Mbali Zantsi (South Africa)
2014: Dexter T. Tan (Philippines)
2013: Oliver Heib & Bernhard Notar (Germany)
2012: Oswaldo Kuchle & Hector Garcia (Mex.)
2011: Damian Michael (South Africa)
2010: Ylli Ndroqi (Albania)
2009: Ulf Steinforth (Germany)

- Promoter of two shows in 2016, one WBF world championship and two WBF Asia-Pacific title bouts, that’s the promotional output of Kenji Maki – something that sure can be improved upon. But the real achievement of the WBF’s Promoter of the Year lies in the fact that he is the first ever promoter in the whole history of the World Boxing Federation to bring us to Japan. Both his shows took place in the city of Osaka and were of high standard. We acknowledge Kenji Maki’s endeavors, welcome him into the WBF family and, you’ve guessed it, hope for more to come.

 Presidents Special Service Award
  Johnny Najjar (USA)

Previous Winners:

2015: Dr. Adam Balogh (Germany)
2014: André Martin (France)
2013: Jennifer Salinas (Bolivia)
2012: Oliver Heib & Bernhard Notar (Ger.)
2011: Dr. Humbert Furgoni (France)
2010: John Sheppard (England)
2009: Anila Qato (Albania)

- He does an excellent job and is always available for the WBF. He does it without much fanfare and is with us since the World Boxing Federation’s re-launch in 2009. We are talking about New Jersey’s Johnny Najjar, head of Masis Boxing Belts and now worthy recipient of the WBF’s Presidents Special Service award. This honor was created by WBF boss Howard Goldberg for him to personally recognize people who have made a valuable contribution to the WBF and because Najjar takes huge credit for not only designing and manufacturing our coveted, high-quality blue WBF belts, as well as providing a top professional service, it’s about time he wins this award, finally.

 Trainer Of The Year
  William Guillaume (France)


Previous Winners:

2015: Artur Grigorian (Germany)
2014: Ulysses Pereira (Brazil)
2013: Juan Carlos Contreras (Mexico)
2012: Alan Toweel (South Africa)
2011: Dirk Dzemski (Germany)

- It’s easy to be overlooked when your main boxer is female and campaigning at the lower end of the weight scale, but with continued success there comes the time when you can’t be overlooked any longer. That’s why William Guillaume is the WBF’s Trainer of the Year, hands down. The coach of WBF two-weight world champion Anne Sophie Da Costa solidified his status with two successful defenses in 2016, Da Costa retaining her Light Flyweight crown against Uruguayan Soledad Macedo (W 10) and Tanzanian Fatuma Yazidu (TKO 5). Previously, Guillaume lead Da Costa to the WBF world Strawweight belt in 2012, a successful defense in 2013 and after she lost the title in 2014, the pair went up a division to capture a second world title in 2015. That’s a great run for a trainer in everyone’s book.

 Referee Of The Year
  Zbigniew Lagosz (Poland)


Previous Winners:

2015: Bertrant Chagnoux (France)
2014: Brahim Ait Aadi (Belgium)
2013: Edward Marshall (South Africa)
2012: Tonio Tiberi (Luxembourg)
2011: Juan José Ramirez (Mexico)

- Lagosz is a man who goes about his job in a quiet, but distinguished manner. In his home country, he is not exactly Mr. Popular, because as a referee, he calls it as he sees it, not as promoters wish. He also doesn’t go around offering his services, thinking himself the best out there. He is simply a world class referee, who does a reliable job when appointed. In 2016, Lagosz was four times the third man in WBF championships and there wasn’t a single thing to complain about. This calls for recognition as the WBF Referee of the Year, nothing more, nothing less.

 Administrator Of The Year
  Christophe Hembert (France)


Previous Winners:

No Previous awards.


- The WBF team behind the scenes is definitely a team to be proud of and can’t be congratulated enough, because they are who make the World Boxing Federation the fantastic organization that it is. Therefore, it is time to inaugurate the Administrator of the Year award, which could be given to many people each year, make no mistake about this. The inaugural 2016 award goes to Christophe Hembert, who is doing a superb job in France. Christophe is the man who makes sure that French officials are appointed and meet the high standards the WBF sets, he affiliates with promoters and the French Federation (FFB) alike and generally does a highly efficient job without much fanfare. A worthy first winner as Administrator of the Year, if ever there was one. Congratulations, Christophe, and here’s hoping for many successful years together.


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