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ESPN Africa promises fireworks in Johannesburg in final boxing event of the year

Johannesburg — ESPN hosts its final event of the year — Africa Boxing 24 — in Johannesburg on Friday, and promises to end off 2022 with showstopping bouts, including the return of Deejay Kriel and fan favourites Patrick Mukala and Darrin Rossouw.

The main event will see India’s Shiva Thakran take on defending champions Emmany Kalombo of the DRC for the IBF International Junior Middleweight title and both boxers believe they will be fighting for way more than the belt.

Thakran explained that this encounter is a chance to take the sport to new heights in India. A win for the 25-year-old will make him the first Indian boxer to boast an international title from one of the four major sanctioning bodies.

In the other corner, Kalombo’s dream is to become “the face of boxing” worldwide, a goal that can only be achieved by hanging onto his belt. Hailing from Kinshasa, Kalombo had a tough childhood.

“I’ve been bullied — not even in school but in my area. People who were older than us used to take our money and take our stuff without even asking. I (decided) I must do something, so I chose to start fighting,” Kalombo said.

No stranger to success, Kalombo beat Rayton Okwiri on TKO (Technical Knockout) at Africa Boxing 18 earlier this year, and is well on his way to making a name for himself across the continent.

In the co-main bout, Kriel makes a return to the boxing scene after a two-year hiatus and will take on Thembelani Nxoshe as these home grown boxers compete in an eight rounds catch-weight fight. Additionally, fan favourite Ellen Simwaka will face Asandiswa Nxokwana in a women’s bantamweight match.

The event will be held at The Galleria, just off Marlboro Drive in Sandton. The undercard starts at 6pm, and will be televised on DStv 218 and SABC Sport from 7pm.

ESPN Africa Boxing 24 Fight Card

Main event: IBF International Super Welterweight Title, 12 Rounds — Emmany Kalombo (16-1-0) v Shiva Thakran (16-3-1); Co-main: Catchweight, 8 Rounds — Deejay Kriel (16-2-1) v Thembelani Nxoshe (19-9-2); Super Middleweight, 8 Rounds: Patrick Mukala (13-2-1) v Yanga Phetani (14-4-1); Middleweight, 6 Rounds: Darrin Rossouw (6-0-0) v Jacques Tshikubu Muvud (7-1-1); Female Bantamweight, 8 Rounds: Ellen Simwaka (11-5-2) v Asandiswa Nxokwana (7-4-2); Undercard: Welterweight, 4 Rounds: Phumelelo Cele (1-1-0) v Aaron Muteba (1-0-0)

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