A compelling championship fight between Eastern Cape rivals Simphiwe Khonco and Siyabonga Siyo will headline the “Night of Reckoning” bill at Emperors Palace on June 11.
Announcing the tournament at SuperSport in Johannesburg on Wednesday afternoon, promoter Rodney Berman also lifted the lid on the Super Four cruiserweight event that will form part of the fight card.
South Africans Kevin Lerena and Johnny Muller will vie for the Super Four crown against Roberto Bolonti of Argentina and Micki Nielsen of Denmark.
In the first round next month Lerena (14-1) will face Bolonti (37-5) and Muller (19-6-2) will fight Nielsen, the highest ranked boxer in the event – rated No 5 by the IBF and No 7 by the WBO – and unbeaten in 21 starts.
The winners will then advance to the final, set for the casino venue in October, with a $100 000 purse split of $60 000 (about R910 000) for the winner and $40 000 (about R607 000) for runner-up.
Khonco (15-5) versus Siyo (10-0) has all the hallmarks of being a top-class local fight, made more appealing by the vacant IBO mini-flyweight title being on the line. Khonco shot to prominence last year when he gave former world champion Hekkie Budler a brutal battle. He subsequently moved base to Johannesburg where Budler is now ironically a stablemate.
Siyo, who hails from Duncan Village, has torn through the division and has long called out his rival, who easily rates as the best fighter he would have fought.
“The kid really fancies his chances,” said Andile Sidinile, the Eastern Cape’s leading promoter. “But I also hear that Khonco has upped his game since changing camps. I’m expecting a terrific fight.”
Top SA prospect Joshua Studdard will also fight on the tournament. Unbeaten in seven outings, he will make his debut at junior-featherweight after blasting his way through the bantamweight ranks.
All the action will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
This world class event is exclusively distributed internationally by the world’s leading boxing rights distributor / sports marketing firm, Protocol Sports Marketing, and the company is in dialogue with top broadcasters worldwide to ensure that “Night of Reckoning” be seen by sports fans everywhere.