By Carlos Kambaekwa
History could be in the making if local boxing promoter Nestor Tobias gets his way to lure current WBA Lightweight World Champion Jose Alfaro to Namibia for his title defence against Paulus “The Hitman” Moses.
Moses is the official challenger for the WBA (World Boxing Association) Lightweight World title and the president of the WBA Gilberto Mendoza has already informed the Nicaraguan boxer about his mandatory title defence against Moses, who is the holder of both the WBA Pan-African and NWBA Intercontinental titles, not later than end of April this year.
The 25-year-old Moses is unbeaten in 22 bouts with 16 of them failing to go the distance since making his debut in the paid ranks on November 08, 2002.
Moses came out unscathed twice during his Intercontinental title defence and guarded his Pan-African belt with some measure of jealousy on no less than three occasions – claiming the scalps of Ukrainian boxer Andrey Kudraiski amongst his casualties.
His well documented knockout victory over Kudraiski paved the way for a shot at the beckoning WBA Lightweight title against Alfaro, who defeated Prawer Singwancha for the vacant title in December last year.
Tobias is adamant to have the bout staged on Namibian soil and strongly believes home ground advantage would give his boxer the edge to wrestle the title away from Alfaro and become only the second Namibian boxer to win a world crown after the legendary Harry “The Terminator” Simon.
“When I took him to Ukraine for his fight against Kudraiski, Hitman had to shrug off a hostile crowd of more than 15 000 boxing enthusiasts, who all rallied behind Kudraiski, but he lived up to the occasion and silenced the home fans when he floored his opponent in the 9th round,” boasted Tobias.
Tobias made an appeal to the local business community to make financial contributions to the development of boxing and said: “There are lots of world champions in waiting, but professional boxing will never progress without the financial input from the corporate sector, that’s the bottom line.
“Lately, things are looking rosy with companies such as Telecom and NamPower really doing everything in their power to keep professional boxing afloat, while the Namibian Government has also contributed significantly to the cause of professional boxing.”
The long-serving boxing promoter took a swipe at local telecasters for their apparent refusal to buy television rights for the live transmission of professional boxing on home soil.
“It’s just a matter of disregard for local promoters, because these people would not mind forking out substantial amounts of money to acquire television rights whenever the offer comes from foreign promoters, with the very same boxers in the mix.
“It seems to me many people don’t recognize the fact that boxing is the only fully-fledged sporting discipline in Namibia and therefore needs to be treated accordingly,” fumed Tobias, a former professional boxer himself.
Meanwhile, Tobias said negotiations are at an advanced stage for Jason “Taks”
Nuule’s long-awaited WBA Pan-African Junior Welterweight title defence against a yet to be confirmed opponent on the 20th of next month.
South African boxer Kaizer Mabuza has been earmarked to trade blows with Nuule while Takudzwa Kuchocha of Zimbabwe is on the alert should Mabuza develop cold feet.
The much-anticipated bout is to coincide with Namibia’s 18th anniversary celebrations and Tobias has promised a boxing bonanza second to none, with several under cards involving local professional boxers also on the menu.
Super middleweight boxer Vikapita Meroro will lead a strong field of local boxers in the under cards with the likes of Tommy Hango, Jatoorora “The Sting” Tjingaveta, Albinu “Dannyboy” Felesianu, Simon Negodhi, Abmerk
“Dam” Shudjuu, Gottlieb Ndokosho and Abraham Ndeandapo making up the Namibian contingent.
“With the mushrooming of local professional boxers, we need to stage at least 20 professional bouts per year if we are to keep our boxers in shape, otherwise they will become rusty,” said the boxing guru.
Contrary to reports that former Commonwealth Welterweight Champion Paulus “Ali” Nuumbembe is seeking a rematch against compatriot Bethuel “Tyson” Uushona for the National Welterweight crown, a clearly irritated Tobias scoffed at the story and described it as pure imagination.
“It will be pointless for Nuumbembe to fight a local boxer at this juncture of his career because he has outgrown the local market and needs to fight world-acclaimed opponents in order to stake a claim for a shot at the world title,” concluded Tobias.
After a turbulent 5-year stint in the United Kingdom, Nuumbembe is back in his native country and is determined to resurrect his ailing career.
He has since joined the stable of the credible Nestor Tobias Boxing and Fitness Sunshine Academy.
“Ali still has lots of boxing left in him, and I’m sure he could have been a world champion by now had it not been for the raw deals he got in England – look at the controversial fashion in which he lost his Commonwealth title to Craig Watson,” Tobias charged angrily.
Nuumbembe lost on a technical knock-out in the 9th round after he sustained a cut to his head with the Namibian boxer firmly in the driving seat at that juncture, before the British referee decided enough was enough and awarded the fight to Watson who has since refused point-blankly to grant a rematch to Ali.