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Chain Reaction thrilled to defend IBO world title in his home town

Simpiwe Konkco punches Siyabonga Siyo in a previous IBO strawweight title bout. / Alex van der Westhuizen
Simpiwe Konkco punches Siyabonga Siyo in a previous IBO strawweight title bout. / Alex van der Westhuizen

Konkco last fought in Mthatha in 2013, before becoming IBO champ. The rare opportunity of fighting at home afforded to Simpiwe "Chain Reaction" Konkco has made the IBO mini flyweight titlist forget that he has not fought for more than a year.

The Johannesburg-based boxer will defend his title in his home town of Mthatha, Eastern Cape, on Sunday afternoon. His opponent is Toto Landero of the Philippines.

The homecoming bout was only made possible by promoter Rodney Berman, who released Konkco to fight at home for the first time as the IBO champion. The last time Konkco fought at home was in 2013, when he successfully defended the SA title against Luyanda Nkwankwa.

Konkco joined Golden Gloves in 2016 and has fought three of his four fights at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.

His fourth fight was also staged by Berman but at Orient Theatre, East London, when Berman honoured his ailing friend, trainer Mzimasi Mnguni.

Berman explained yesterday that he released Konkco because Lastborn Promotions will stage its tournament in honour of Nelson Mandela's centenary celebrations. East London-based Lastborn will jointly stage its tournament with the OR Tambo district municipality.

"That is why I released him [Konkco]," said Berman, who enjoyed a cordial relationship with the late statesman.

Konkco, who is trained by Colin Nathan, said: "I have even forgotten that I have not fought for over a year. What is more important for me now is that people back home will get to see me in action for the first time since I won the world title in 2016. I want to thank my promoter [Berman], who made it possible that I fight at home. There has never been a world title fight in Mthatha, so I am excited to make history."

Also featuring on the bill dubbed The Untouchables will be Sharadene "Shinzo" Fortuin against Asandiswa Nxokwana for the vacant IBO Intercontinental bantamweight female title.

Action will begin at 2pm.

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