By Carlos Kambaekwa
Christmas might be six months away but Namibian boxer Paulus “Ali” Nuumbmbe has gifted himself an early Xmas present by wrestling the WBA Pan African Welterweight title bout away from champion Welcome Ntshingila with a unanimous points decision in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Windhoek Country Club Resort on Friday.
Such was Nuum-bembe’s dominance that by the time the South African referee Jaap van der Westhuizen signalled the end of the 12 round bout, Ntshingila’s body language was that of a beaten man who heaved a huge sigh of relief.
Nuumbembe was in mean mood from the word go and peppered the champion with a combination of well measured uppercuts and coolly executed jabs that had the defending champion in all sorts of trouble – much to the delight of the appreciative home crowd.
The former Commonwealth Welterweight champion who lost his title in controversial fashion against Craig Watson last year, showed once again that he has lost none of his prowess as he went about his business unhindered against an opponent who must have been ruing his wisdom in putting his first title defence at such a high risk by taking on an opponent with a proven pedigree, let alone away from home.
Both judges Rassie Erasmus (South Africa) and Timo Haikonda from Namibia had their scorecards with identical figures of 120 and 108 in favour of the challenger while Erasmus’ counterpart Andy Marshall from Cape Town gave the thumbs up to Nuumbembe at 120 against the champion’s 109.
The Namibian was firmly in the driving seat and the only discomfort were two odd drawn rounds in between the 12-round bout that left the pair to finish with 10 points each.
The victory paved the way for Nuumbembe to stake a serious claim at the WBA Inter Continental Welterweight crown against the defending champion from Ukraine on a yet to be determined date and venue.
According to Nuumbembe’s handler and much adored local boxing promoter Nestor Tobias, plans are also afoot to organize a rematch for the WBA Commonwealth Welterweight title between Nuumbembe and Craig Watson, which the Namibian lost in controversial fashion against the British boxer, last year.
“We are busy negotiating with well known boxing guru Stan Christondolou for a rematch because we strongly believe there were lots of discrepancies during that fateful night and it’s our sincere wish to set the record straight and let justice prevail.”
Tobias praised the boxers for dishing out a great fight that gave the paying fans value for their money and applauded the masses out there who came out in large numbers to ensure that the title finds a new home in Namibia, but the former professional boxer climbed bare fists into local corporate business for their apparent reluctance to heed the call for financial assistance.
“It’s a very costly exercise to stage bouts of this magnitude and while I’m extremely over the moon with Ali’s showing in the ring and the public turnout on the night, I must confess the fight left me with a big hole in my pocket as I had to foot a significant chunk of the bill from my own meagre resources,” fumed the usually well calculated boxing mentor.
There were several professional under cards on the night with Namibian boxers once again enjoying the upper hand against their South African opponents in their respective weight categories.
In the first of two all Namibian affairs, Abraham Ndaendapo had the better of the exchanges against Samuel Kapapu in their Junior Lightweight fight, with the more experienced Ndaendapo stopping the rookie boxer right in his tracks with a technical knock-out in the second of their four-round bout.
Abmerk “Dam” Shidjuu defeated Klaas Mboyane on points in their four-round Flyweight bout, while Gottlieb Ndokosho found the going a bit tough against the hard-hitting Ali Phiri from Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean comfortably won the four-round Lightweight encounter on points.
Jatoorora “The Sting” Tjingaveta cruised to a well-deserved points win in his six-round Lightweight fight against Lebo Mboniswa from South Africa.
In another encounter pitting two locals against each other – Simon Negodhi made short work of his bout with Peteneni Elago, dispatching the Oranjemund-based boxer packing with a technical knock-out in round two, and Vikapita “Beast Master” Meroro returned the compliment to his stable mate with a 3rd round technical knock-out win over Zimbabwean Chamunorua Gonorenda.
Tommy Hango completed the riot with a well-deserved victory over Modecai Donga from Zimbabwe in their six-round Welterweight bout to book himself a date against a yet to be named opponent from Ukraine for the WBA Inter Continental Welterweight crown.