By Carlos Kambaekwa
Long serving boxing guru Ambrose Kandjii believes local boxers are more than capable of taking Namibia to greater heights when Namibia hosts the final tournament for African Olympic qualifiers in Windhoek later this month.
In accepting to host the second and final leg of the Olympic qualifiers for African nations, boxing authorities were fully aware of the inherent challenges.
Having hosted countless boxing events before and proved equal to the task, the rest of the continent took note and had little hesitation in reposing their confidence in Namibia and it is now up to local boxing authorities to justify that.
Upon getting the thumbs up to host the historic event, local boxing authorities wasted little time and immediately knuckled down to some serious business by inviting Botswana for an international boxing friendly at the Epako Community Hall in Gobabis this Friday.
Altogether eleven boxers will be in action this weekend in preparation for the Olympic qualifiers with heavyweight boxer Tobias Munahango leading the pack after the Namibian boxer narrowly lost out on Olympic qualification in Algiers in January.
Namibia’s current Commonwealth Light Flyweight champion Japhet Uutoni has also been included in the lineup despite having already qualified for this year’s Beijing Olympics.
“We have decided to vigorously embark upon on an extensive training programme primarily aimed at getting our boxers in good shape ahead of the qualifiers and the fact that these bouts are on home soil, we have to make 100% sure Namibia is well represented by high quality boxers and not just making up numbers,” Kandjii lamented
Amongst the well known faces in action this weekend will be Julius Indongo, Immanuel Naindjala, Desmond Kasuto and bantam weight boxer Simon “Baluka” Johannes.
Meanwhile, Kandjii has hit back at disgruntled boxer Samuel “The Hammer” Kapapu, after the 24-year old boxer alleged that other boxers were afforded preferential treatment by local boxing authorities despite mediocre performances.
“That’s all nonsense, he is a troublesome boy, an average boxer who has not really made any impact internationally – he has been given many chances to prove himself but has never really lived up to it when the situation presented itself, so what else could we do?” charged the outspoken boxing mentor.
Kapapu has since turned professional but Kandjii maintains the door is still open for the often volatile young man to reconsider his stance and put his professional boxing ambitions on hold, at least for the time being.
“Look, we have invited him for the training camp ahead of this weekend’s friendly bouts against Botswana but he refused point-blankly, so the ball is in his court because until such time he enters the ring for his first bout in the paid ranks, he is still allowed to backtrack and reclaim his amateur status if he so wishes,” concluded Kandjii.