Konkco on brink of big time
Only tough Filipino Canoy stands in way of breakthrough unification bout
Going in to Simpiwe Konkco’s title defence against dangerous Filipino Joey Canoy at the Orient Theatre on Sunday, a promoter issue still hangs over the head of the boxer.
The Mthatha-born boxer, who is on the verge of a unification clash, is defending his IBO mini-flyweight title. The fight, his second of the year, is organised by Last Born Promotions, (LBP) who also promoted his July bout against Filipino Toto Landero even though he is contractually bound to Golden Gloves Promotions (GGP).
The 32-year-old champion has been desperate for a bout after being on the sidelines for a year, and ran the risk of being stripped of his title. He also nearly forfeited his lofty rankings until LBP came to his rescue.
However, LBP have played down their role in saving Konkco’s career, arguing that the boxer was leased to them by GGP.
“We were approached to use Konkco in our shows and so far so good,” was all LBP spokesperson Mla Tengimfene would say.
Konkco’s camp was not forthright about who his promoter actually is, instead opting to thank LBP for coming to its rescue.
“I regard LBP as my other home although I still belong to GGP because in life you must not burn bridges,” Konkco said.
There is no denying that relations between Konkco’s manager-trainer Colin Nathan and GGP is not as cosy as it was before.
The two parties are hardly on speaking terms, only communicating when negotiating a fight involving their boxers.
Asked about the frosty relations, Nathan would neither deny nor confirm it.
“Right now I am busy ensuring that my fighters get action with anyone prepared to help them,” Nathan said.
Konkco, rated No 1 for the WBC title, will contest the eliminator if he beats Canoy.
This scenario should finally clear up as to who his promoter is, although Nathan’s No Doubt Management company has spread its tentacles worldwide and is therefore able to take Konkco to any of the best deals offered anywhere.
Nathan confirmed that he had cemented his relations with the WBC although the IBF remains his strongest ally.
“Do not be surprised if I should reveal my relationship with another major world body,” he said, refusing to name them.
While these scenarios surrounding Koncko are intriguing, they all hinge on his battle with Canoy. The Filipino who looks a lot younger than his 25 years, is said to have improved since his first visit to the country, when he quit against another Nathan charge, Hekkie Budler, during their battle for the vacant IBO junior flyweight title.
Since moving down to the mini-flyweight he has not lost a bout, beating among others, highly-touted compatriot, Melvin Jerusalem, in July last year.
Canoy has revamped his team, including the technical and management side of things, and hopes the transformation will steer him to a world title.Like all Filipino boxers, he was modest about his challenge with Konkco, only saying he is hoping to win.
Whether he will catch Konkco at the right time or will allow the Mthatha born boxer to open a path to a unification bout, remains to be seen.
The rest of the bill will be: Makazole Tete vs Ronald Malindi (ABU bantam title); Sharadene Fortuin vs Thelma Zuma (female bantam); Phila Gola vs Mawande Mbusi (bantam); Xolisa Nonkonyana vs Mzoxolo Dyani (welter); Malaki Sobolo vs Masivuye Piliso (minifly); Siphamandla Manqata vs Ayabulela Gcebe (feather); Yamkela Phaliso vs Siphamandla Mkhambathi (feather); Mawande Matros vs Tholumusa Ngema (bantam); Andile Nxayiphi vs Gcina Makhoba (jnr bantam)...