In a major coup for Colin Nathan, top boxer Simphiwe Khonco has joined his HotBox gym.
Just a few months ago Nathan was plotting to beat the Eastern Cape talent; now he’s joined forces with him for an assault on the world title.
Last September, Nathan’s star pupil, Hekkie Budler, beat Khonco in a rousing fight for the WBA and IBO titles. Khonco was outstanding in that and although Budler prevailed, he acknowledged his rival for his outstanding performance.
Budler has since been elevated to “Super” champion status and the plan is for Khonco to fight for the regular WBA championship. He is still rated in the top 10.
Until his 2015 defeat by Budler, Khonco had been on a hot winning streak of nine fights.
“It’s crazy how the world works,” said a delighted Nathan. “I always gave Khonco props for his ability. I rate his talent highly and he proved it when fighting Hekkie. There was no bad blood and we were friends throughout. Khonco has a lot of natural talent, but there are some things I can work on.”
Fortunately Khonco’s promoter, Andile Sidinile, has an excellent working relationship with Golden Gloves: together they are pursuing a WBA title shot.
The move also benefits Budler, who said: “It’s a great move, especially for sparring – we can help each other. There aren’t a lot of guys my size, so Simphiwe will add another dimension. He’s a good fighter with a lot of heart. He’s definitely going to make it.”