Sunday, October 02, 2022  |



Khonco, Mbenge win decisions over Dante, Inson in South Africa


South African boxers Simphiwe Khonco and Thulani Mbenge emerged victorious Saturday, defeating Filipino challengers Lito Dante and Jayar Inson, respectively, at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa.

Khonco (18-5, 7 knockouts) won his third-straight fight, defeating Dante (13-8-4, 7 KOs) in the 12-round main event by the scores of 119-109 on two cards and 118-110 on the third.

Promoter Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves said the Sierra Bullones, Philippines, native Dante “was very competitive” in the strawweight fight “but Khonco is the joker in the pack in this division.” Khonco is ranked No. 6 by THE RING, No. 10 by the WBC, No. 3 by the WBA and No. 13 by the IBF.

Previously unbeaten Inson (13-1, 9 KOs) of Davao City, Philippines, was on the wrong side of two 80-71 cards and one 79-72 card with a knockdown suffered in the third round, according to Berman, and acknowledged that he didn’t do enough to hang the first loss on Mbenge (11-0, 10 KOs), who was taken the distance for the first time in his two-year career.

“I cannot counter because he is too long, I can just hit from the inside,” said Inson of the loss, which is his second fight since jumping from lightweight to welterweight. (READ: For Jayar Inson, long odds and opportunity in overseas fights)

“Losing is painful but I am still happy because I learned something.”

Berman said he thought the “very tough” Inson would be able to challenge Mbenge more, but took the manner of victory as a positive.

“Maybe Mbenge is probably even better at this stage of his career than I thought,” Berman said via Twitter.

“He is the real thing.”

Also Saturday, Thabiso Mchunu rebounded from his knockout loss to WBO cruiserweight titleholder Oleksandr Usyk in December, shutting out Johnny Muller on all three cards to win the vacant South African cruiserweight title. All three scorecards read 120-108 for Mchunu (18-3, 11 KOs) over Muller (20-8-2, 14 KOs).