‘Chain Re­ac­tion’ ready to fight best box­ers in his di­vi­sion

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Sim­phiwe “Chain Re­ac­tion” Khonco’s camp is metic­u­lously paving the way for him to get into the ring against any of the min­i­mumweight cham­pi­ons of the big three world bod­ies in the near fu­ture.

They are the World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (WBA), the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) and the World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WBO).

The WBA ti­tle holder is Tham­manoon Niy­omtrong of Thai­land, while Mex­i­can Jose Ar­gumedo has the IBF belt and the WBO di­a­dem be­longs to Ja­pan’s Kat­sunari Takayama (see graphic).

Khonco holds the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IBO) crown in the same di­vi­sion.

The bold step to give him what is likely to be his big break, slug­ging it out against the best, is a re­sult of his lat­est per­for­mance.

He put up a breath­tak­ing show two weeks ago when he beat Nkosi­nathi “Mab­here” Joyi by a unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion in defence of his ti­tle at the Ori­ent The­atre in East Lon­don.

This was one of the great­est bouts, fea­tur­ing fight­ers from the smaller di­vi­sion, staged in a South African box­ing ring in a long time.

Khonco (30), from Mthatha in the East­ern Cape, was a marvel to watch as he slipped punches skil­fully to up­stage Joyi and re­tain his belt. Chain Re­ac­tion’s trainer, Colin Nathan, said his charge was ready to fight the best.

“We’d like Khonco to have one more ti­tle defence in April and fight against any of th­ese champs later,” Nathan said.

“Our view is that he has proved [that he is] a wor­thy IBO champ and is now ready for a ti­tle uni­fi­ca­tion.”

He was op­ti­mistic that his charge would win a uni­fi­ca­tion bout, given his cur­rent form in the square jun­gle.

Khonco, who has had 18 wins and has only lost five out of 23 bouts, said the time was ripe for him to get his big break by meet­ing any of the ti­tle hold­ers.

“I’m ready for this mo­ment be­cause it will show that I’ve grown with [time],” Khonco said. “I be­lieve I’m in a class of my own. Bring it on.”

Niy­omtrong, who is also known in box­ing cir­cles as Knock­out CP Fresh­mart, won the ti­tle from Nicaraguan By­ron Rojas who had dethroned South African Hekkie “Hex­e­cu­tioner” Budler at Car­ni­val City in March.

The three cham­pi­ons are ex­cep­tion­ally tal­ented and will po­ten­tially give Khonco a tough chal­lenge if the fights ever get off the ground.

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