Khonco wants WBA super belt

KING Simphiwe Khonco is hoisted by trainer Colin Nathan after winning the IBO minimumweight title at Emperors Palace last week. Picture: Leon Sadiki
KING Simphiwe Khonco is hoisted by trainer Colin Nathan after winning the IBO minimumweight title at Emperors Palace last week. Picture: Leon Sadiki

Simphiwe “Chain Reaction” Khonco wants to challenge Nicaragua’s Byron Rojas for the World Boxing Association (WBA) super minimumweight title to avenge the defeat of his stablemate Hekkie “Hexecutioner” Budler.

Two weeks ago, Khonco ascended the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) throne by beating Siyabonga Siyo on points at Emperors Palace.

The IBO and WBA crowns were jointly held by Budler before he was embarrassed by Rojas at the same venue three months ago.

Khonco had lost to Budler by unanimous points decision for the championships in September. That was before the duo found themselves under one trainer, Colin Nathan.

But an upbeat Chain Reaction now believes that since he has captured the IBO diadem, he is in a good position to take on the Nicaraguan and bring the WBA belt “home to the Hot Box gym where it belongs”.

“Winning the IBO crown is great. This gives [me] confidence to call for the WBA crown. I’m hoping to get a chance to slug it out and dethrone him in future if he is still champion,” said Khonco.

According to the BoxRec schedule, Rojas is set to defend his crown against Thailand’s Knockout CP Freshmart in Bangkok on June 29. Freshmart currently holds the WBA minimumweight championship.

“I can fight Freshmart any time if an opportunity presents itself. But my main focus at the moment is to trade punches with Rojas,” Khonco said.

The short Mthatha-born fighter – whose lightning-fast right hooks remind one of erstwhile national flyweight holder Vuyani “Wonderboy” Nene in his heyday – says he will also put himself in line to challenge for the International Boxing Federation crown.

Khonco’s trainer, Nathan, said his charge had the potential to dethrone Rojas.

“He is a skilful fighter who knows how to read the mind of his opponent during the bout. He has the potential to win the WBA super title,” said Nathan.

Khonco has compiled a fight record of 16 victories and five defeats in 21 fights.

At the moment, the father of three, who is based in Johannesburg, wants to spend the next two weeks with his family to enjoy his capture of the title.

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