Friday 14 May 2021
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Is boxing on slippery slope?

The lack of investment into boxing at amateur level could derail Namibia’s plans to become a boxing powerhouse on the continent and globally, local boxing gurus have cautioned.
While Namibian boxing has been producing world champions for decades now, some renowned local boxers expressed their disappointed when it comes to the amateur and development level.
Speaking to The Patriot, Africa’s World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Super Featherweight champion, Jeremiah “No Respect” Nakathila said that there is a need for more boxing development on the amateur level and the boxing governing body should organize more tournaments in various regions to groom future Namibian world-class boxers.
“I remember that I was also discovered through amateur boxing tournament and it is a very good programme that will help so many young boxers to reach their professional career in boxing”, Nakathila told The Patriot Sport.
He further stated that during the tenure of the Katutura Central Constituency Councilor, Ambrosius Kandjii and former Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) Joe Kaperu, amateur boxing programmes and tournaments for the upcoming boxers to showcase their talents and develop their boxing skills were hosted.
Nakathila reminisced how amateur boxers were sent to Cuba in the past for training, development and learning new skills of boxing.
“In this boxing era, you have to learn new skills, adapt new style, more combination of power and skills and maneuver more in the ring to win any fight”, he said.
He added, “There are other countries that did not get the privilege of having world champions, we have had a number of them which shows that we are on the right path. Only Namibia, Ghana and South Africa have produced more world champions in Africa as far I am concerned”, Nakathila stressed.
When asked about the future of Namibian boxing industry, Nakathila revealed that it’s a worrisome if they are not investing in development and also decentralizing this beautiful game to the other regions. “I am worried that we are no longer going to produce world champions and we are losing lot of talents, we need to be active and act fast”, Nakathila outlined.
He added that only Windhoek has good boxing stables but all current and former champions are from the northern part of Namibia.
“If you want to be a boxer, you need to be in Windhoek and perhaps, coastal towns such as Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. But all the champions are from the northern part of the country,” he pinpointed to The Patriot Sport.
Nakathila who ranked number one in Africa and number 3 in the world by the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) is confident that there are more world champions belts to come and everyone is working hard to achieve such fate.
Paulus “The Rock” Ambunda who recently won the IBO Super Bantamweight belt via a split decision against Muhamad Ridhwan of Singapore, said that boxing is the only sport yielding more results and the government as well as private sector should pump adequate money to develop this sport further.
“Government and private sectors need to pump more into sport in general, we need more training, development and more facilities”, Ambunda stated. He added that the industry of boxing in Africa has improved drastically compared to the previous years. “Namibia is among those countries which produced world champions in Africa”, the champion indicated.
He added that boxing governing body need to come up with development programmes for mentorship and do coaching clinic, saying that there are good boxers in other regions.
Ambunda lamented that promoters also need to protect their boxers and make right decision and choice when it comes to the opportunity of a world title. “These boxers are basically your sons. You need to protect them and make right decisions, at the right moment. Otherwise, you will destroy someone’s career”, he stressed.
MTC Nestor Sunshine and Fitness academy promoter, Nestor Tobias expressed his satisfaction about the boxing industry in the country, saying that boxing is moving in a right direction.
He added that most of Namibian professional boxers are ranked higher the latest world boxing rankings, stating that Walter “Executioner” Kautondokwa and his compatriot Paulus “The Hitman” Moses who announced his retirement after the Saturday defeat had two massive fights on the same day.
Tobias added that his camp has produced lot of world champions with limited resources and more development is needed to excel at the world stage.
“This camp produced lot of champs with very limited resources. We produced lot of boxers, lot promoters and also learning from the Americans.
Another local boxer, Wilberforce “Black Mamba” Shihepo stated that boxing industry went on a slow pace due to the financial constraints which is facing the country right now. He further added that he believes that boxing industry will continue to prosper, even though, there is a need of local development and coaching. Shihepo also urged the boxing promoters to work together, saying that it is good for boxing development and mentorship.
“We still have big a opportunity to beat the Americans. You have to fail and learn; fail and learn to get it right. However, more development is required and coaching will be necessary”, Shihepo told The Patriot Sport

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