By Lwazi Ndzobongo: Simphiwe Khonco retained his IBO minimum weight Title by unanimous decision in defeating Toto Landero on Sunday, at The OR Tambo Hall in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.
Khonco was fighting for the first time in his home town in 5 years and first time in 13 months. He was able to outbox the game Landero to win by scores of 117-112 and 116-112 twice from the ringside judges.
The action started at a snails pace in the first two rounds with neither boxer willing to show his game plan. With the home crowd shouting for every jab Khonco threw, the action heated up in rounds three and four with Khonco managing to land solid punches on the Filipino, who was throwing wild punches that missed the mark more often than not.
However in the middle rounds Landero was able to shade a round or two by attacking Khonco to head and body. A tight defence got Khonco through the barrage and he began to control and outsmart his challenger.
Just when all seemed straight forward and smooth sailing for the South African, Landero was able to shade the last two rounds, pressuring the seemingly exhausted champ and causing the home crowd some anxious moments.
It was a good performance from Khonco, who improved to 19-5(7) and Landero dropped to 10-3-2(2).
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