…Both dreams a potential fight
One of the country’s upcoming boxing sensations Lazarus ‘Key Locker’ Shaningwa has told Harry Simon Jr that it will take Simon Jr five to six years to reach the level where Shaningwa is if he (Simon Jr) is to have any chance of fighting a ‘world class’ boxer (Shaningwa).
Both boxers are professionals in the super-light weight divison.
Shaningwa (27) said this after he said that last year the son of popular former World Boxing Organisation (WBO) middleweight world champion Harry ‘Terminator’ Simon, told his friends and blasted on social media that he wants to fight Shaningwa this year (2018).
Simon Jr has a record of seven fights, seven wins and no loses, while Shaningwa who just turned professional in 2017 has a record of two fights, two wins and no loses.
Simon Jr who turns 22 in June this year made his debut on 3 May 2017 when he beat fellow Namibian Sam Shaama and last fought last year when he beat a 45-year-old Zimbabwean boxer Meshack Kondwani in Windhoek.
Shaningwa’s response was quick and cutting. “He (Simon Jr) is still a small boy to me. He needs to prepare himself for five to six years if he is to fight me. He is however a good boxer, at his level, but he is no match for me; he is not on my level. Yes, I still have the SMS that he sent to me stating that he wants to fight me. I have been representing my country for many years at the amateur level,” Shaningwa said.
Shaningwa also said that if such a fight happens to take place, he will hand Simon Jr his first defeat.
“It is a friendly warning to Simon Jr that if he accepts the fight he will make a big mistake. If he accepts (fight) I am going to pull the red carpet away from his feet. I will put a beautiful first loss on his record,” Shaningwa said.
In response, Simon Jr retorted that Shaningwa is also not in his class and that he wanted to fight Shaningwa at the amateur level but never got that chance when Shaningwa was still dominating the that level.
Shaningwa has an impressive amateur level especially at the national level where he is a Namibia National Champion – 2005 -2015, Khomas Regional Champion – 2012 -2014, Namibia National Defence Champion – 2013 – 2014 before he became a professional boxer.
At International level Shaningwa has won numerous continental achievements in the lightweight division such as a Silver Medal at the African Boxing Confederation Zone VI Boxing championships – Vereeniging South Africa in 2010, Gold Medal at the International Boxing Tournament –Mozambique in 2011, Gold Medal at the African boxing Confederation Zone VI Championships – Gaborone Botswana in 2012 and a Gold Medal All- Africa Games – RSA Orient Theater in 2015.
“It is not that me who wants to fight him but he (Simon Jr) is the one that wants to fight me.
It all started at the amateur level when he was dominating it and I did not want to fight him at amateur level because there is no point to fight him at the amateur level but wanted to fight him at the professional level. He is even underweight and also a mismatch for me,” Simon Jr said.
Shaningwa meanwhile said that he is focused on fighting for a world title in the near future rather than fighting an overrated Simon Jr.
Shaningwa trains at MTC Salute Boxing Academy and his last two fights were promoted by Kamanya Kiriata, chairman of MTC Salute Boxing Academy.
“I have no regret spending many years at the amateur level. I am just 27 and still have many years to fight at the highest level. My dream is to fight for a world title.
Currently, I can say that I do not have a promoter but my last two fights were promoted by Salute. I am open to any promoter,” Shaningwa said.
Simon Jr on the other hand said he has been in the gym as he is still waiting for his promoter, Nestor Tobias, for information regarding the program for him this year.
Simon Jr trains at the MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing Academy.
“I have been in the gym doing some light training. I am still waiting for news from my camp regarding the program for this year.
Hopefully I will fight for a belt this year,” Simon Jr said.
Promoter of Simon Jr, Nestor, refused to comment despite numerous efforts to get feedback from him regarding a future fight between his boxer and Shaningwa.