Blencowe is the year's top sport

BEING named the Manning River Times-Ken McDonald Memorial Sportstar of the Year capped a perfect 2013 for boxing champion Arlene Blencowe.

She was on hand to accept the award at Greater Taree City's Australia Day celebrations held at the Manning Entertainment Centre.

Blencowe won the world WBA and WIBA lightweight title when outpointing New Zealander Danielle Smith in a gruelling 10 round contest held in Auckland last year. This was just her third professional fight.

She only received notification of the fight a week before after the original contender was forced to withdraw due to injury.

She will defend both belts later this year, possibly in Europe.

Blencowe is the first boxer to win the sportstar award in its 53 year history. There were three other finalists. They were:

Holli Wheeler, a member of the successful Australian Country women's hockey team; Australian cerebral palsy footballer team member James Turner and power lifter Angela Pinson, who represented Australia in the Commonwealth and Oceanic Benchpress championships held in New Zealand.

Blencowe said she was honoured the accept the award, presented by mayor Paul Hogan and Toni Fatherley, Ken McDonald's youngest daughter.

She will fight for the Australian lightweight crown in Brisbane next month.

"I'm a proud Australian and even though I've won a world title I want an Australian title now,'' she said.

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