The sport of boxing continues to prove its dominance in the local sports fraternity with yet another successful regional grassroots development project recorded. Otjiwarongo was the centre of attraction for boxing enthusiasts last weekend when amateur boxers exhibited their talent at the MTC Sunshine Cup in a fully packed Swanevelder Community Hall. The competition saw Khomas Region retaining their dominance in the ring with most of their boxers scooping gold medals. In the inspiring presence of unified light-welterweight IBO, IBF and WBA champion Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo, young boxers-as young as 6 years-exhibited great talent, a sign and testimony of boxing talent in the regions.
Competing Regions were Khomas, Erongo, Oshana, Otjozondjupa as well as a team from Nampol. Khomas emerged victorious team followed by Oshana in second while Nampol, Erongo and Otjozondjupa followed respectively. “Initiatives of this nature are needed in sport development and this competition proves that there is talent. The young boys are serious and you can see that all they need it guidance,” said Khomas Boxing Federation chairman Jason ‘Tuks’ Naule. An elated Naule said the results of his team was not a surprise, adding that: “I was quite surprised by the talent displayed by boxers from Erongo, they showed good skills. All they perhaps need is fitness.” He added that the country should invest in sport codes in the regions.
MTC’s Tim Ekandjo shared the same sentiments saying talent identification is of paramount importance. “Hosting events of this nature is a tool for talent identification. And we are pleased to have successfully hosted the regional boxing tournament.” The first highlight of the event was seeing 6-year old Immanuel Given take on Nyanyukweni Nekundi in an exhibition fight. Fast raising Gerry Du Plooy nailed Nghiyangenu Gotlied to the floor in the second round to register the first TKO of the tournament in the last bout of the juniors. Sebastian Nujoma’s win over Matheus Heita landed him the best senior fighter prize. Abed Shikongo who registered the second TKO over Faroku Kakololo in the 91kg weigh division. Promoter Kinda Nangolo was also in the mix of the exciting tournament. “The future of boxing in the country is indeed in good hands. There is a lot of talent, and I can see that the next Julius Indongo, Hitman and other champs of this country will come from the regions. We need initiatives of this kind in the regions so that young people can actively participate and exhibit their talent,” said Nangolo.
While boxing is heavily dominated by men both in the ring and the ring corners, the best coach of the tournament gong went to 28-year old female, Saima Amesho. Amesho. She started training her boxers from the Kilimandjaro Boxing Club, she made her appearance at the tournament guiding her boxers from Oshana. “I am passionate about boxing and that is why I started coaching. There is talent in the regions especially Oshana but we cannot do much with the limited resources,” said Amesho. Oshana had a number of boxers who were crowd favourites. One such fighter was Mosquito Shaanika who displayed a unique boxing skill but was outpunched by Abel Mikaiu. The tournament also presented the residents of Otjiwarongo with an opportunity to meet Indongo during a street parade.