Roarke Knapp is currently a big fish in a small pond.
A significant win or two could put him in line for a huge opportunity next year in the United States or the United Kingdom.
Knapp (16-1-1, 11 knockouts) will face Przemyslaw Zysk tonight at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa. The 10-round bout will precede the main event bout between junior bantamweights Ricardo Malajika and Kevin Luis Munoz.
Both fights will air live on SuperSport throughout South Africa (7 p.m, Johannesburg).
The 25-year-old, who resides in nearby Edenvale, a suburb of Johannesburg, last fought on March 18, defeating Ahmed El Mousaoui by unanimous decision. In his previous fight on December 10, Knapp won a decision over former contender Dante Jardon.
Knapp has won his last seven bouts since losing by knockout to Brandon Thysse in November 2019. Knapp would avenge the loss to Thysse on June 11 of last year, winning by split decision.
Zysk (18-1, 6 KOs) suffered the loss of his pro career in his last bout on June 25 of last year, losing by unanimous decision to former fringe contender Sam Eggington. Zysk notched his notable win in his previous fight in November 2017, defeating fringe contender Juan Ruiz by unanimous decision.
A statement win over Zysk could put Knapp in a position where bigger fights line up for him. He hopes to do just that, leaving no doubt who the better man is tonight.
“I’m the best in Africa,” Knapp told BoxingScene late Thursday night. “Now I’m coming for the world.”
Manager Marco Luis believes it is just a matter of time before Knapp makes the move overseas and faces other top prospects and contenders at 154 pounds.
“(A win) will place Roarke in the top 10 in the world,” Luis told BoxingScene. “I think he will cement his status on African soil and, once he hits the top five, (we) will look to take him international.”
Ricardo Malajika (11-2, 9 KOs), who resides in Johannesburg, has won his last three bouts since losing to Skiho Nqothole on April 9 of last year.
Munoz (16-1, 6 KOs) defeated Isaac Arias by unanimous decision in his last bout on February 18 in a clash of unbeaten prospects. Munoz, who resides in Las Heras, Argentina, has won his last four fights since losing by knockout to Angel Nicolas Aquino.
Also on the card that will be promoted by Rodney Berman, unbeaten junior middleweight Shervantaigh Koopman (11-0, 8 KOs) will square off against Brandon Thysse (15-3-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing