Sunday 11 April 2021
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I’m not poaching Nestor’s boxers –Kamanya

WINDHOEK, 29 August 2017 – Members of the Salute Boxing Academy pose for a picture after a media conference in the capital. (Photo by: Hesron Kapanga) NAMPA

The boxing fraternity came to a ‘question and answer’ session this following the announcement of boxers Paulus Ambunda, Vikapita Meroro and Wilberforce Shihepo as new recruits of the Salute Boxing Academy. The boxers, all having been shining prospects in their careers jumped ship from the MTC Nestor Sunshine Academy citing inactiveness. Following the hooking of Tyson Uushona from Tobias’ stable in 2015 and now the three boxers, rife allegations are that the SBC stable boss Kiriat Kamanya is deliberately poaching his ex-associate’s protégés.
Approached to clear the air yesterday, Kamanya said he had no influence in the departure of the boxers and that his relationship with them comes a long way.
“I am not poaching Nestor’s boxers. The boxers and I come a long way. I used to support them in so many ways and they look at me like a father figure. So they knocked on my door and I simply opened because I cannot turn my children away. I did not call them from Nestor’s camp,” said Kamanya. Kamanya lamented that the boxers have their own issues with the Sunshine stable and he is rather focused on helping them retain their top positions.
“Last I checked there is not bad blood between myself and Nestor. I helped him a lot from the beginning and I do not recall clashing with him. It’s nothing personal but business.” Both Meroro (32) and Shihepo (34), boxers seen to be at the sunset of their careers are at heavy scrutiny on how they will ever see glory and how Kamanya plans to utilize the ‘old’ hart-hitters. Kamanya downplayed the idea of the boxers being too old saying there is still talent and energy in the two.  Shihepo last fought for the Commonwealth light-heavyweight title eleven months ago when he was defeated by Callum Johnson by KO. Former WBO Africa light heavyweight champion Meroro came out of retirement after losing to South Africa’s Kevin Lerena in February, floored in the 5th round. “Meroro is good boxer and my trainers advised me that he is still good. I wouldn’t have taken him in if he was of no use. It is the same with Shihepo, he is a fighter and he is still in the gym. So we are working hard to make sure these boxers do their best again,” said Kamanya. Ambunda (37) on the other hand became a double world champion while at Sunshine. He last fought in 2016 when he lost his IBO super bantamweight world title to Mexican Moises Flores.
Kamanya said Ambunda is one of the best boxers and he will climb up the ladder again. “We all know what Ambunda can do. Now he is with a gym where he will work harder. We will soon see him at the top again.”
The academy caretaker also added that his academy is hard at work grooming their own young boxers for local and international competition.

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