The Ring accolades for local fighters
South African boxers Simpiwe "Chain Reaction" Konkco, Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler and Zolani "Last Born" Tete have been recognised by The Ring magazine and awarded ratings on a prestigious list that some fighters can only dream of getting on to.
The only problem is that no one remembered to tell the boxers that they had been recognised by the "Bible of Boxing".
The three found out about their achievements when told by The Times yesterday.
Konkco, who won the IBO mini-flyweight belt, was awarded a No8 rating.
Budler, his stablemate at HotBox Gym under trainer Colin Nathan, has earned the No9 spot. He captured the WBA Pan African junior flyweight belt.
Tete, from the All Winners gym of Mlandeli Tengimfene in East London, has been placed eighth.
The Mdantsane-born Tete won the IBF international bantamweight belt.
"I was not aware of that rating," Konkco said from Mthatha, Eastern Cape. "That is good news. I am very happy. Those are big ratings. It says I am being recognised by the whole world."
Budler, from Newlands West, in Johannesburg, said: "I hope I will work my way to the No1 spot and fight for the title."
Tete - whose awesome skills are polished in East London by Loyiso Mtya and the boxer's father, Zolile - could hardly believe the news and said the recognition had motivated him to aim higher.
"Wow!" he said. "That is an achievement. Chances of being rated by The Ring are scarce. I am highly motivated. But I want to go right to the top and fight for The Ring belt."
A rating in The Ring magazine - owned by Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Enterprises - is enough to propel a boxer to global fame.
It has its own championship belt in all 17 weight classes.
The Ring began awarding championship belts in 1922.
The other local boxer whose achievement last year earned him recognition is Simpiwe "V12" Vetyeka.