Fourth time’s a charm for Xolisani Ndongeni at ESPN Africa Boxing 23

a boxer celebrates after winning a fight

South Africa’s Xolisani Ndongeni celebrates after winning his Super Lightweight fight against Thailand’s Apinun Khongsong in the ESPN Africa Boxing 23 at the Suncoast Casino Hotel. Durban, South Africa on 17 November 2022. Picture: Barry Aldworth /ESPN

Published Nov 18, 2022


Durban - South African Xolisani Ndongeni shone bright in the main event of ESPN Africa Boxing 23 after a seventh round KO victory over Thailand’s Apinun Khongsong, in their International Junior Welterweight Bout in Durban on Thursday.

Ndongeni was technically very good on the night and stuck to a plan in order to earn the  31st win of his career. He worked his jab superbly, both to the body and the head of his opponent, peppering the midriff more often than not.

This led to Khongsong dropping his guard and Ndongeni took full advantage in the fourth round when a right hand sent the man from Thailand to the deck. The latter answered the count but was lucky to escape the round.

Ndongeni persisted with his plan and in the sixth round Khongsong was on the canvas twice after some superb combinations from the South African, the overhand right doing the damage on both occasions.

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Finally, two minutes and six seconds into the seventh round, after being down for the fourth time, Khongsong failed to answer the count after being knocked down by another right hand.

Speaking after the fight, Ndongeni explained he had a plan for their opponent on the night. He was also very thankful for the opportunity and demanded a title shot next.

“Thank you to Durban and to ESPN for the opportunity,” said Ndongeni.

“We have worked every day. I was tired but I kept pushing. The knockout is something we planned. He was a tough opponent. I knew I had to box him, he was very strong. I proved I can box when I have to, I can fight when I have to. I need a title on my waist.”

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Meanwhile, the co-main event saw South Africa’s Ludumo Lamati (21-0-1) KO the Philippines’ Mark Anthony Geraldo (38-12-3) two minutes and nine seconds in round four of their International Featherweight Bout.

Speaking after the fight, Lamati promised some big things for next year: “It feels really great to win. There is no me without the team. Watch this f*#king space! 2023 watch this f***ing space!”


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