BabyBest reloaded: Keith Nkosi by Ashleigh Egan

Talk about a comeback, Keith ‘BabyBeast’ Nkosi made his in the most theatrical of fashions with the lethal knockout of Warren Joubert at the Christmas Cracker late in 2012. Not only did the now infamous KO earn him the Ron Jackson’s round up ‘knockout of the year’ but more importantly the ABU Lightweight title. A stunned crowd marvelled at the Beast’s precision and many dubbed the fight the most exciting bout of the evening. Nkosi, who now trains with Harold Volbrecht, entered the ABU Lightweight title fight as the underdog but scooped the title within the first round. After knocking Joubert down early on, Nkosi caught a dazed Joubert in the corner and launched a destructive two-handed assault. Following this Joubert seemed to be limping – subsequent broken ankle, and was counted out at 2 minutes 15 seconds by the referee.

Things have not always been so idyllic for 2013’s prospect of year; a five month break from boxing saw Keith spend time in rehab to tackle his demons. “Eden Wholeness Rehab helped me find myself. I grew stronger and while watching the first round of the Super 8 tournament I realised I was missing out. I had to get back into that ring.’

Leaving rehab on Sunday the 20th of June, Keith made his comeback just five days later at Gold Reef City. Keith knocked down a highly regarded Goodman Zanempi a shocking five times throughout the four round fight. The strong hands that will serve him well in fights to come secured him a convincing points victory. ‘The Zanempi fight gave me the confidence I needed to pursue boxing again. Walking into the ring has always been my favourite part.’

Next up Keith thumped Raymond Kupula for another win on points on the next Manny Fernandes bill.

The stage was set for Keith’s victory over Joubert. ‘I have a lot of respect for Warren, he’s a tough guy. But it was my night’.

In the short term Keith will be making his first title defence on the 18th of March on a Golden Gloves bill – his opponent has yet to be named. Under trainer Volbrecht and manager Brian Mitchell the BabyBeast is looking unstoppable. ‘I’m learning from everyone in the gym, we have a great vibe and training with Tommy Oosthuizen has been an experience in itself. I’m happy with the people around me’.

Long term Keith laughs about retiring in five years time, until then he has been rumoured to be have been propelled into the mix for the WBC Lightweight World Cup. Part of the Golden Gloves’ selection of hot, young fighters like Kevin Lerena and Junior Makabu, Keith has a bright future ahead of him.

‘For me, two things you need to have to succeed in boxing are 1. Respect and 2. Discipline. I’ve got both and I’m going to go as far as I can.’

Keith would like to thank Danie Groenewald from Eden Wholeness Rehab centre, Jonathan Kairuz from JAG Auto Tech, Daniel and Ceasre Anthony from Jimmy’s Comaro Crossing, close friend Sylvester Zaki and fiancé Marissa Jimenez for their on-going support and guidance.