ESPN Africa Boxing 18 Set To Entertain

Biggest fight card for ESPN Africa Boxing to date features several title holders

ESPN Africa Boxing events are broadcast live on ESPN across Africa and Latin America, as well as on SABC Sport Channel and TKO magazine show

Boxing fans across Africa can look forward to some of the best combat sport action when ESPN Africa Boxing 18 takes place in Johannesburg and broadcasts live on ESPN on Thursday 30 June 2022, from 19:00 (CAT). Sanctioned by Boxing South Africa (BSA) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF), this event will be headlined by a 12-round match for the IBF International Junior Middleweight title between DR Congo’s Emmany Kalombo (15-1-0) and Kenyan Rayton Okwiri (7-0-1).

during the ESPN Africa Boxing 15 fight night in Johannesburg, South Africa on March 24, 2022 © Barry Aldworth /WBSA

Known as ‘The General’, Kalombo was last in action in April, defeating Malawian Chikondi Makawa via third-round technical knockout in Soweto, while the unbeaten Okwiri is making a much-anticipated return to the ring. In his most recent fight, in October 2021, Okwiri knocked out John Serunjogu of Uganda in a middleweight non-title fight in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

Gift Bholo (South Africa) during the ESPN Africa Boxing 14 WEIGH IN in Johannesburg, South Africa on February 24, 2022 © Barry Aldworth / ESPN Africa (2022)

The former African Boxing Union middleweight title holder is determined to put a major belt around his waist once again. “I have done it in the past and it’ll not be any different this time round. This is a big fight for me and the title must come back home as I’m serious to win it,” Okwiri explained.

Kalombo, however, feels that things will go differently: “I have known Okwiri as an amateur boxer for a long time and I’m gonna chop him down and stop him from taking the title.”

The co-main event is a 10-round Welterweight clash between South Africa’s Thulani Mbenge (18-1-0) and Idd Pialari of Tanzania (30-7-1). Mbenge was last in action a year ago, claiming an impressive third-round knockout win over Jabulani Makhense. Pialari broke a losing streak by defeating Chimwemwe Chiotcha via unanimous decision in February this year.

The main card also features an eight-round Super Flyweight clash between Sikho Nqothole (14-2-0) and Selemani Bangaiza (12-7-0); Jabulani Makhense (12-1-0) v Paul Kamanga (23-2-0) over eight rounds in the Welterweight division; and a Super Lightweight battle over eight rounds between Gift Bholo (9-11-0) and Hannock Phiri (14-0-1).

The fight card for this event, is as follows:


Main event: IBF International Junior Middleweight Title
12 rounds
Emmany Kalombo (DR Congo, 15-1-0)
Rayton Okwiri (Kenya, 7-0-1)

Co-main event: Welterweight
10 rounds
Thulani Mbenge (SA, 18-1-0)
Idd Pialari (Tanzania, 30-7-1)

Super Flyweight
8 rounds
Sikho Nqothole (SA, 14-2-0)
Selemani Bangaiza (Tanzania, 12-7-0)

8 rounds
Jabulani Makhense (SA, 12-1-0)
Paul Kamanga (DR Congo, 23-2-0)

Super Lightweight
8 rounds
Gift Bholo (SA, 9-11-0)
Hannock Phiri (Malawi, 14-0-1)


Junior Middleweight
4 rounds
Sinethemba Blom (debut)
Mikaeel van Doorsen (1-1-0)

Junior Lightweight
6 rounds
Cayden Truter (4-0-0)
Khanyisani Mbokazi (2-3-1)

Featuring a diverse range of the continent’s boxing talent, the ESPN Africa Boxing events that take place on the last (or second last) Thursday of every month, are televised to an audience of up to 60 million homes across Africa and Latin America. The action starts at 19:00 (CAT) on ESPN (DStv 218, Starsat 248), SABC Sport and selected international broadcasters including ESPN across Latin America, as well as a highlights package in TKO (SABC 2, Fridays at 21:30).

How to tune in:

ESPN: DStv 218, Starsat 248

SABC Sport

  • All times are stated in CAT / SAST.
  • Schedule subject to change

For updates regarding ESPN Africa Boxing and other sports, fans can connect to @ESPNAfrica on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: Instagram: IMDb:

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