Johannesburg - Simphiwe “Chain Reaction” Khonco is burning with desire to unify the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight titles.
In doing this, he would emulate stablemate Hekkie “Hexecutioner” Budler, who held both crowns before surrendering them to Nicaraguan Byron Rojas via a unanimous points decision in March last year.
Khonco currently holds the IBO version, while the WBA belt belongs to Thammanoon Niyomtrong of Thailand.
Chain Reaction is ranked number two behind Rojas in contention for Niyomtrong’s championship belt.
The Mthatha, Eastern Cape-born fighter is hoping that the champion will meet him in a voluntary title defence soon.
This happens when a title holder puts his crown on the line against any contender except the first ranked. In this case, it will be Khonco.
He is waiting with bated breath for the biggest moment of his boxing career – to own two belts just like Budler did.
“I learnt this week that I am second in contention for the WBA title. I’m hard at training because this means that I can get a unification bout at any time now.
"I’m working very hard and ready for the unification bout,” said Khonco.
His trainer, Colin “Nomakanjani” Nathan, said it would be a historic achievement for their Johannesburg stable to produce two fighters who held similar crowns.
“Simphiwe is in great shape and we cannot wait to see him get into the ring to fight for two titles,” said Nathan.
“I’m confident the bout will happen before the end of this year because the champion has to make a voluntary defence.”
Khonco lost to Budler by a unanimous points decision for the IBO/WBA championship in 2015.
But Chain Reaction redeemed himself by winning the then vacant IBO diadem when he outpointed Siyabonga Siyo in June last year.
He has made two successful defences by registering unanimous points wins over Nkosinathi Joyi at Orient Theatre in East London in November, and over Lito Dante from the Philippines at Emperors Palace on June 10.