Rivoningo Nkuna is the IBF African junior middleweight boxing champion. He took the title in December at the African Junior Champs held at Emperors Palace.
The championships, he explained, is run according to weight divisions, and there were 25 boxers in his section. He won his first three bouts by knockouts, which put him in the final. There he met a Nigerian-born boxer who lives in England and he beat him on points in an unanimous decision.
Rivoningo says he took an interest in boxing at a very early age after his father bought him a punching bag when he was about eight. “I joined a club and started training seriously at the beginning of last year,” he said. “While I am hoping to make a career out of boxing one day, schoolwork and passing matric is my priority for now.”
So, he had to leave the club, and his coach, Rulani Hlangwini, sends him training programmes, and he works on them at Tsessebe – where there is a punching bag – and in the gym.
He also plays basketball and rugby for the school and intends carrying on with those.
“I like boxing because it’s like a chess game, how have to hit your opponent try not to let him hit you,” he said. “I get my knockout wins because not through power, but because my opponents never see the punches coming – that’s the art of boxing.”
His next fight will be in July this year, we will be looking out for the result.