With nine days until fight time, Simphiwe Khonco admits he’s getting irritable.
“Tired of waiting, tired of training,” he said. “This isn’t a talk show . . . I just wanna fight.”
Khonco was speaking after being rolled out to the media and fans at his gym’s open day ahead of “Night of Reckoning” at Emperors Palace next Saturday.
Khonco tops the bill in a fight against unbeaten Siyabonga Siyo for the vacant IBO minimumweight championship.
It’s difficult to gauge a boxer’s form at such an event, but he looked trim and sharp while working the pads of trainer Colin Nathan.
Nathan, who is never backward in coming forward, predicted that Siyo’s unbeaten record would end against Khonco.
“It’s funny, last time out I was in the opposite corner, but he’s with HotBox now and doing a great job. We’ve covered all our bases.
“If we’ve wanted to box, we’ve used [world champion] Moruti Mthalane. If we’ve wanted to move, we’ve used DeeJay Kriel. If we’ve wanted to stand and move, we’ve used Hekkie Budler. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Unbeaten Micki Nielsen (23) was also in attendance. He knows the risks involved, not least the judges’ “home cooking”, but he intends to win convincingly against Johnny Muller in the cruiserweight Super Four. He’s 21-0 and sees this as an opportunity to move towards his goal of a world championship.
He’s determined to do so before his older brother Patrick (25) who is a 28-1 world-rated super-middleweight.
Said trainer Joey Gamache: “He can counter-punch, box, slug. He’s got good instincts, he’s a good all-round fighter.”
Soon, the talking will be done. Next week, it’s all business.