Boholano boxer Lito “Naruto” Dante will be challenging International Boxing Organization (IBO) World minimumweight champion Simphiwe “Chain Reaction” Khoco of South Africa on June 10 at the Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa.
It will be the first title defense of Khoco, who won the crown by dethroning his fellow South African Nkosinathi Joyi via a unanimous decision last Nov. 20 at the Orient Theatre in East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
“Ok lang ang kundisyon ko ngayon at timbang ko naman walang problema,” (My condition is just ok and I have no weight problem),” said Dante.
“I’m now only 106 lbs. My opponent is also a good boxer and has been a champion many times already,” said Dante, who previously captured the vacant WBC International minimumweight title via a unanimous decision against Jay Loto last March 25 at the Manila Hotel.
“Pero gagawin ko ang lahat para manalo sa laban na ito. Ito yong matagal ko nang pinapangarap na makalaban sa world championship. (But I will do all my best to win this fight. This is the one that I have long been dreaming– to fight in a world championship), said Dante.
Dante and his manager Art Monis and trainer Tacy Macalos, a former IBF world champion, arrived in South Africa on June 4 after more than 13 hours of travel from Manila.
They arrived together with current World Boxing Organization (WBO) Asia Pacific welterweight champion Jay-Ar “Hitman” Inson of Davao City and his trainer Samson Amongo.
Inson of the MP Davao Boxing Stable is also fighting Thulani Mbenge of South Africa in the undercard.
Both fighters are still undefeated. Inson has 13 straight wins with nine knockouts and no draw while Mbenge has won 10 straight wins all by knockouts.
Inson of the MP Davao Stable previously captured the WBO Asia Pacific welterweight crown by stopping Ryota Yada by a technical knockout.
Inson also won the interim WBO Oriental lightweight title in 2015 via a TKO over Victor Mausul at the SM City Annex.
“Walang problema sa condition ko. Okay lang ako,” (There’s no problem on my condition. I’m okay) said Inson. “Pero dili ko puede magkumpiyansa dahil magaling din ang kalaban ko,” (But I can’t be complacent since my opponent is also good) added Inson, who is being accompanied by his trainer Samson Amongo.
Mbenge, on the other hand, pummelled to submission Shaun Ness also in the 7th round to win the South African welterweight crown last April 23 at the Emperor’s Palace. (Lito de los Reyes/PNA)