BOXING MECCA KEEPS YOU UP TO DATE FROM THE RINGSIDE
IBO world champion fired up for July 22 clash after frustrating layoff
Mthalane, Mayweather, Pacman... all the news about the bouts, all the gossip behind the punches, as well as Lonwabo Witbooi’s insight
It has been a while since Simpiwe Konkco was seen plying his trade inside a ring.
This even though he is a world champion – with a IBO mini-flyweight crown firmly in his grasp. Due to his long inactivity, his title and lofty rankings under other world bodies was already under threat.
Now his promoter Rodney Berman’s promise to the boxer’s fans that Konkco would return to action to save his title and maintain his high rating, has indeed materialised having announced that the diminutive boxer will be in action at OR Tambo Hall on July 22.
Konkco took time to chat with us about the upcoming fight:
BOXING MECCA: I figure by now you have forgotten everything about boxing. Can you still differentiate between a fishing hook and a left hook?
SIMPIWE KONKCO (laughing hilariously). Bra Mesuli please do not make a joke out of this because to be honest with you, I was suffering inside. You must recall that boxing is my only source of income, so when I could not get fights it meant I cannot feed my family.
BM: You have not answered my question Gaba.
SK: (laughing again). They say, if you once knew how to ride a bicycle, you will never forget. So yeah, I know the difference between a fishing hook and a left hook. Also, even though I have been inactive in the ring I have always been in the gym training every day.
BM: I guess you were the main sparring partner for Hekkie Budler before his fight in Japan.
SK: Yes, I was and that helped me with my own fitness. So I am surprised when you insinuate that I have forgotten about boxing.
BM: There is also Deejay Kriel who is also your stablemate. At one stage you guys were said to be scheduled to fight each other.
SK: Yes, and let me tell you, I was not happy with that arrangement. In fact everyone in my gym including Colin (Nathan, trainer) was not in favour of the plan. I spar with Deejay almost everyday and for me to fight him in an actual fight, was not on.
BM: I must commend you Gaba for keeping your cool under the circumstances you found yourself in. I can imagine how your family has been reacting to the situation.
SK: Eish bhuti you have no idea. That is why I even asked people like you to help out. Despite this situation , I could see that my promoter Rodney Berman was also not happy. In fact, he told me several times that he would not let me lose my title without defending it in the ring. I could see that you had spoken to him as well about my situation and I am grateful to you for that.
BM: One thing I discovered with Rodney, is that he has a soft spot for you.
SK: I also realised that he loves me and that kept me going. But like you pointed out the family does not care about those dynamics, if it does not bring food on the table.
BM: You are returning to the ring when your stable HotBox gymnasium is basking in the glory of Hekkie’s win, meaning that a lot is expected of you.
SK: I am aware of that and to me it is serving as a motivation. It gives me a kick to do everything in my power to keep the success in the gym going.
BM: Now the big one Gaba. You are returning home after how long? How does it make you feel to fight in Mthatha?
SK: The feeling can’t be measured. I have not fought in Mthatha in a while. In fact, if I am correct I will be the first world champion from the area to fight there and this gives me added impetus for this upcoming fight.
BM: It will give you an opportunity to display your skills in front of your friends, family, relatives and young kids.
SK: That is the most interesting part about all this. I want to inspire the kids so that they dream of becoming boxers in future. I know Mthatha is a bedrock of talent, so down the line I know I will touch so many young souls.
BM: This Toto Landero guy you will be fighting. Did he not fight here again?
SK: No but you do know that he was initially scheduled to fight Deejay Kriel but Kriel got injured. And his brother once fought Hekkie Budler a while back.
BM: I am sure after this fight you want nothing but a world title unification.
SK: Bhuti, I am 32 years old now meaning retirement is not far. I must strike it while the iron is still hot . . . so yes, I want to engage in a unification battle after this fight.
BM: Imagine if you were to be successful in your unification fight. That would set a record for you and Hekkie to be unified champions from the same stable.
SK: That’s exactly our goal and we will achieve it.
BM: How is OR Tambo Municipality feeling about the return to its parts of the son of the soil?
SK: One thing I must say about the municipality, is that they have never abandoned me even when I moved to Johannesburg. They have always been behind me and after winning the world title, they even presented me with a cheque just to encourage me. I have no illusions about their support.
I will be the first world champion from the area to fight there and this gives me impetus for this upcoming fight Simpiwe Konkco
BODY BLOW: Simpiwe Konkco unleashes a straight right to Nkosinathi ‘Mabere’ Joyi’s upper body in a recent bout .
CHAMP STATUS: IBO Intercontinental champion Simpiwe Konkco shows off his belts.