The former International Boxing Federation (IBF) Batamweight Champion, Joseph Agbeko, was on Wednesday presented with the 2011 Dennie Mancini award for his exploits in the sport over the past years.
Agbeko, who was billed to receive the award last November, failed to attend the event due to his re-match with Abner Marez last December, compelling the organizers to send the trophy to Ghana for the eventual presentation.
Nii Nortey Dua, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports who presented the trophy to Agbekoin Accra on Wednesday, congratulated him for his exploits in the sport as well as being the third Ghanaian after Azumah Nelson and Joshua Okine to win the prestigious award.
He said the nation is proud of the achievement of Agbeko and expressed the hope that the boxer will re-organize himself to conquer the world again.
Agbeko also expressed appreciation to the organizers for conferring the award on him and described it as a good omen for his career in the New Year. “Last year was bad for me, but this award at the beginning of the year will propel me to work harder for greater achievements”. He stated.
Agbeko said he is aiming at another world title this year after moving up in weight from the Bantamweight to the Super Bantamweight division.
He noted that the challenges ahead in the year are huge but he will work hard to overcome those challenges to enable him win the world title again.
The award is named after the late Dennie Mancini (1933-2004), one of the greatest figures in Commonwealth boxing history and is awarded each year to the person deemed to have achieved the most in the year.
The trophy takes the form of a bronze bust of Dennie sculpted by artist Tanya Petersen of Creative Spiral.
Awarded since 2006, past recipients include Tshifhiwa Munyai of South Africa (2006), Bradley Pryce of Wales (2007), Ghanaian legend Azumah Nelson (2008), Briton Amir Khan (2009) and Ricky Burns, also of Great Britain (2010).