WINDHOEK – Up and coming Ongwediva based junior welterweight professional boxer Immanuel Mungandjela has the pluck to take up the dog eat dog sport of trading blows and blaze a trail that’s indeed lonely and rocky, and is determined to emulate the feat of his predecessor, the legendary Joseph ‘Joe Archer’ Shikongo – Namibia’s first ever professional boxer.
The strongly built Mungandjela, 25, known as ‘The Lion’ in boxing circles, announced his arrival on the big stage in great fashion with a stalemate in his debut fight as a professional and went on to record two consecutive wins in his subsequent bouts to bring his resume to 2 wins and one draw from 3 bouts in the paid ranks – certainly a promising feat for a rookie boxer.
Mungandjela is one of six professional boxers from the 11-year-old Kilimanjaro Boxing Club in Oshakati, under the stewardship of former Namibian Olympian Joseph Bernard. The popular stable is also home to 48 amateur boxers with an eye on turning professional when they are deemed ready to enter the bigger stage.
The 25-year old Mungandjela caught the eye of local boxing enthusiasts and sports scribes when he came out tops in his closely-contested bout against the equally dangerous debutant Kennedy Kamati via a split decision win in their junior welterweight non-title four-rounder at the Windhoek Country Club, last weekend.
His strong punches, swift footwork and amazing positional awareness left his promoter and trainer Bernard with a huge smile on his face, describing the boy as a potential national champion in the junior welterweight division in the not-so-distant future.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this boy has what it takes to become a world beater if nurtured and managed properly.
“Obviously there are still some rough edges that need to be polished but we have been burning the midnight oil working on improvements and I can assure you he is on the right track as can be attested by his well deserved victory tonight against a tough opponent,” said a confident Bernard, himself a great boxer during his heyday and who represented his native land in high-profile international events such as the Atlanta Olympics 1996 and All Africa Games in Harare, Zimbabwe 1995.
The sky is the limit for the unbeaten northern boxer who recorded a knockout in only his second attempt at the recent boxing bonanza in Oshikango. This feat was followed by last Friday’s victory against Kamati, sandwiched by a drawn result in his debut bout – an achievement that can only augur well for the promising boxing career of Mungandjela.
Meanwhile, Bernard appealed to potential sponsors for financial support and lauded companies such as Babyface (Okalongo) Runny Traders, Oshakati Spar and Namibia Funeral Supplies for their valuable contribution.
By Carlos Kambaekwa