WINDHOEK – Namibia’s World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa super middleweight champion, Wilberforce ‘Black Mamba’ Shihepo will not only be faced with an acid test of beating Arthur Abraham for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental super middleweight title tomorrow in Schwerin, Germany, but also has the task of restoring Namibian pride following Paulus Ambunda’s world title loss to Japanese Tomoki Kameda a few weeks ago.
Abraham might be a notch ahead of Shihepo in terms international exposure and also his being a former middleweight and super middleweight world champion, but the Namibia bulky pugilist is not bothered by the Armenian-born German’s impressive CV – he has simply vowed to make his aging opponent a stepping stone to greater heights.
Shihepo, 30, boasts a record of 20 wins (15 KO’s) and 6 defeats from 26 fights, while Abraham, 33, has 36 wins (26 KO’s) and 5 defeats from his 40 bouts. Abraham has however admitted that a defeat against Shihepo would spell the end of his career.
“When somebody is ranked inside the top 10 of the WBO ratings then you have to think of him as being a worthy opponent. So I will not take him lightly. I have to be at my best to beat him and become the WBO Intercontinental champion. Moreover, it is my chance to get another shot at the world title. I want to become a world champion again,” said Abraham.
Shihepo also knows what is on the line. He is leaving no stone unturned to not only surprise the favourite but to shock him. “I have put all my effort into the preparation for this fight and have been ready for more than two months now,” said the Namibian. “I am just waiting for the bout to come, so that I can open fire!” warned the ‘Black Mamba’. -additional reporting: boxingnews24.com
By Otniel Hembapu