SA’s Roake Knapp to fight Jorge Garcia Perez for IBO title

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Boxer Roarke Knapp could be South Africa’s new world boxing champion this weekend, when he faces off with the Mexican Jorge Garcia Perez at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park on Saturday.

Knapp is in line to become the first SA boxer to win the vacant International Boxing Organisation belt in the Junior Middleweight division.

Knapp, who has dreamt for this opportunity for a long time, has won 10 of his 11 professional fights, losing only once.

“It feels incredible. It’s something that I have dreams of throughout my boxing career. It’s something I worked very hard for and to be in this position and have an opportunity to win it’s something I am grateful for and I can’t wait to solidify it on Sunday.”


The fight will mark the first ring appearance for Knapp since last September. He was due to face Josh Kelly in December last year.

However, a hand injury forced him to withdraw. Knapp is adamant that his hand is now stronger than ever.

“My hand is stronger than ever, it’s unfortunate I had to miss out on my last fight due to injury and I had to have surgery to correct everything and I followed all protocol from doctors and surgeons and I recovered very nicely.”


Mexican Garcia has been a professional for a decade, winning 29 fights with 24 by knockouts and losing just four and one draw.

Knapp’s trainer Vusi Mtolo is predicting a knockout win for his boxer.

“The Mexican is very tough opponent. He has lots of knockouts, if you make mistakes, he will make you pay. This might end up with a knockout in favour of Knapp.”

Boxing South Africa’s Acting CEO Mandla Ntlanganiso  is pleased that another South African boxer is on the verge of becoming a world champion.

“Slowly but surely as SA Boxing we are getting there another opportunity for Roake Knapp to fight for IBO World Title which is a step into the right direction, because we need more world champions and more boxers competing at an international and world stage.”