Chris Kongo: Boxing is my purpose

Chris Kongo has enjoyed a very quick rise since he debuted back in 2016 and the unbeaten Bermondsey prospect will be looking to build on the momentum from his last victory on Saturday when he faces Michael McKinson in Gibraltar as part of the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s rematch with Alexander Povetkin.

Kongo, 12-0 with 7KO’s, will defend his WBO Global welterweight strap that he won by defeating Luther Clay last August and he believes that he will be too big for fellow unbeaten welterweight McKinson when they clash on the card billed “Rumble on the Rock”.

He told Boxing Social: “I think this fight is the perfect one for me at this stage of my career. I can’t wait to head over there. I’ll be quarantining here and getting tested on Tuesday, before heading over on Wednesday to Gibraltar.

“Michael is awkward and likes to box off the back foot, but that will be tough to do with me, as I will be the bigger man. He’ll have to come forward and that will leave him open. I don’t watch much of him. To be honest, he’s got a boring style so I don’t think many do, so I’ll stay fully focused on myself and leave that to other people.

“My last win over Clay was a good one. I’m very harsh on myself and I’ll only give it five or six out of ten but it was important for me to get back on track. I’d been out for a while and before that I’d only really been in with journeymen in my career so to get a win like that and pick up a title was a massive boost.”

The winner will walk away with the WBO Global title, one of many titles that litter the boxing world. It’s significance remains unknown though it could well put whichever man holds it on the verge of a world title fight, a fact that is not lost on Kongo.

Kongo knows that as well as the belt and ranking, a win could also put him in line for some big fights domestically in a division that is heating up. However, the allure of a world title fight could well see 28-year-old “2Slick” bypass those challenges.

“There are a lot of titles within boxing, but for me it’s my first one and I don’t want to lose it any time soon. I’ll always cherish it and I’m going to keep it by any means necessary. Say what you want about it’s relevance but it is an important title to help my ranking and push my career on.

“I want to be involved in the big fights domestically. I’m looking at the likes of Conor Benn, Josh Kelly and Florian Marku because they would be great to be involved in. I was also keeping an eye on Chris Jenkins and Ekow Essuman before that was called off. 

“I was going to call the winner out but looking at it, McKinson has the highest ranking out of any of them and we’re all in this game to go after the world titles. Perhaps when I beat him and look at everything, I’ll have the ranking and the belt, so why not push on, rather than stepping back?

Backing Kongo all the way will be his manager, whose undercard he boxes on Saturday, Dillian Whyte, who Kongo is more than happy to put his total faith in. Saturday night in Gibraltar will be a significant night for both of their careers.

In the corner for Kongo will be Jim McDonnell the highly respected and revered trainer. There is no doubt like all McDonnell fighters, Kongo will be in top shape come Saturday night and he will be looking to add to his recent success. 

“Dillian has been great for me. He gives me so much support and he is only ever just a phone call away. He has been there and done it, so his advice is priceless. Having someone like Dillian is the sort of person that any fighter would dream of having so I’m very fortunate in that regard.

“Also being trained by Jim McDonnell is massive. Everyone within the sport knows what Jim can do for you and he’s well loved. He’s done it as well and there’s no hiding with him because as we all know, he does all the training with you. If you can keep up with him, then you know that you’re in good shape.

“My life has always been about boxing. I’ve been doing this since the age of eight and it’s all I’ve really ever known. I truly believe that boxing is my purpose in life and the people who have followed me drive me on. I must be doing something right as more are coming on board, so hopefully there will be a few more on board after Saturday night.”