Punches Nearly Go Astray

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… As Boxer Kapia Loses Badly

By Confidence Musariri

Windhoek

There was pandemonium at the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre on June 30, after Paulus Kapia lost the National Featherweight national title to Siegfried Kaperu in a ten-round main bout.

An agitated Kapia opposed the announcement that he had lost the bout on points and went on a rampage, grabbing the title belt from the governor of the Erongo Region Samuel Nuuyoma, who was stan-ding in the ring together with Deputy Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Pohamba Shifeta.

“He showed lack of sportsmanship by not accepting defeat and his actions prompted his fans to start throwing bottles all over as everything went into chaos,” said Shifeta in an interview yesterday.

The Namibia Boxing Control Board (NBCB) was locked in a post-fight meeting late last night and acting chairman, Kelly Nghixulifwa said a decision was going to be made for the whole world to see how Namibia handles errant boxers.

“I saw a beer bottle hitting the deputy minister as he was leaving the ring, after Kapia and some of his sympathisers worsened the situation,” said Nghixulifwa, who was the match supervisor.

According to the acting NBCB chairman, the match was a close call and could have gone either way, “but I think Kapia lost when he started swearing at the gentlemen in the ring. We could not make up what he was really saying but his actions told that he was saying bad things to the delegates in the ring, before stripping governor Nuuyoma of the title”.

It was Kapia’s second loss in seven matches, while Kaperu claimed his 11th win in 15 fights, with only four losses to his record.

“I do not think that such a boxer has come out of our development programmes in this country. In fact, it was my second time to see him and I believe he is now a rotten apple amongst the edible ones,” said the deputy minister who has been closely associated with the sport.

Kapia belongs to the Duran Andreas Stable while his victor Kaperu is trained under the Nestor Sunshine Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy.

According to Shifeta, it was very fortunate that there were no international supervisors at the venue, lest Namibia would have faced isolation from international boxing, “because of one man’s actions”. The deputy minister would not repeat the obscenities showered on him by the boxer, but said that he had seen a lack of sportsmanship and respect from Kapia.

Added Shifeta: “The Erongo governor is an elderly man, old enough to be his father and I will wait upon the investigations by the Directorate of Sports, whom I have instructed to look into the issue.”

Governor Nuuyoma said that he had to remain “cool and calm” as Kapia misbehaved in the ring. He did not blame the organisers for being lax in terms of security, saying such an incident could not be prevented as it was due to unexpected uncontrollable behaviour from a sportsman.

Said the Erongo governor: “Fans were provoked by his actions and as we made our way out of the ring, stray alcoholic liquids were smashed into my face, as the fans chanted corruption slogans. But how could we be corrupt yet we were neither judges nor fight officials? Our duty was to hand over the belt to the winner.”

Asked if Kapia made intentions of physically assaulting both him and the deputy minister, the governor said he held the belt firmly in his hands as the boxer struggled to grab it from him.

“I had to psychologically control him. I looked him straight in the eye and kept watch of his body language. Maintaining my calm and looking at the person straight in the eye is something that I have learnt to do in such situations.”

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