MZANSI boxer Simnikiwe ‘Nuclear Bomb’ Bongco is guaranteed at least a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and this will be the country’s first boxing medal since 2014.
The middleweight from Duncan Village in the Eastern Cape, defeated Kemrond Moses of Grenada during their three round contest to advance to the semi-finals.
Bongco will now face 19-year-old Callum Peters of Australia tomorrow, knowing that he already has a medal in the bag.
The last SA boxer to walk away with a Commonwealth medal was Thulani “Thulz” Mbenge after he won bronze in the welterweight division at Glasgow back in 2014.
And prior to that, the duo of Bongane Mwelase and Jackson Chauke had won silver and gold, respectively, at Melbourne in 2006.
The flyweight Chauke has given some words of advice to Bongco as he prepares for his semi-final against tough prospect Peters.
“Obviously, he has worked hard to get there so he must just keep pushing because it’s not easy to get there, especially out of 70 or more countries,” said Chauke.
“But he’s got experienced trainers.
“He must just listen to the trainers, and he will make it. I believe in our boxers, and I have seen them fight.
“The Commonwealth Games are a good platform to showcase your skills.
“I think it’s the second biggest Games in the world. It’s a good opportunity for him and he must just make use of it.”
Chauke, who was recently crowned the African Boxing Union flyweight champion after outclassing Mustafa Khalid of Tanzania, insists the Commonwealth Games silver medal he won at Melbourne 2006 remains one of his biggest achievements.
“As I speak now, I’m a national champion and I have pride in that,” added Chauke.
“I love representing my country. It gives me great pride.
“Every time I look at that medal, I just smile because it’s one of the biggest highlights of my career.”