Athenkosi makes statement in 53-second knockout

Athenkosi “Viper” Plaatjies

Athenkosi “Viper” Plaatjies is the talk of the town following his 53-second annihilation of Lucky Makhubela during their super welterweight bout at Pollsmoor Correctional Services a fortnight ago.

A week leading up to the fight, the Brice Boxing Academy super welterweight fighter said his opponent was “just another fighter in his way to a world title”.

Plaatjies is aiming for a South African title by the end of the year and a world championship title fight soon after.

Originally from Kariega (Uitenhage) in the Eastern Cape, and now based in Ottery, Plaatjies has over 260 amateur fights under his belt, with only 16 losses.

This was only his second professional bout, which got his trainer, Emile Brice, excited about his new champion fighter.

Plaatjies said the boxing bug bit him when he was just seven years old.

He sensed Makhubela wanted to give up so he pushed until the referee stopped the punches.

“I saw the fight as easy. I’m not saying the boxer was easy. I am saying my hard work prevailed. He was just another opponent in my way to the world title. I train hard. Everyone in my way, I will move them out of my way”, he said.

Plaatjies said he was scouted by Jack Brice of Jackie Brice Boxing Academy in the Eastern Cape, before he moved to Brice Boxing Academy in Ottery, early last year.

“Every Friday I would turn on the TV and study boxing. Everyone was going on about Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather. I love them both and that motivated me to become someone like them in the sport. Since I was young I started to fall in love with boxing through the grace of God,” he said.

Plaatjies said he grew up in boxing, it was a vehicle that helped him to stay in the right lane while he was in Uitenhage.

He was aiming to be a part of the Olympics team, however, he decided to follow his dream of becoming a world champion.

“My older brother and mother loved to gym and watch boxing… I had dreams of becoming a champion at a young age. I wanted to become an SA champion at amateur level. So now I moved from amateur to professional to win world titles. I love talking about boxing. Everywhere I go I talk and live boxing,” said Plaatjies.