Namibia’s flamboyant light heavyweight boxer Wilberforce Shihepo, better known as ‘Black Mamba’ in boxing circles, put up a brave fight against holder Callum Johnson but it was not enough to wrest the title away from the unbeaten champion.
The strongly built Shihepo did everything expected from him and kept his British opponent at bay with some right hooks and well-executed uppercuts – much to the delight of the appreciative crowd.
The muscular Namibian started his challenge like a house on fire, taking the fight to his more fancied opponent in the opening stages of their 12-round bout for the Commonwealth light heavyweight title in Manchester, England, on Saturday evening.
He did pretty well as he fought at a high pace, showing some good hands and amazing speed in the opening exchanges, but strangely lost concentration in round nine when he walked straight into a vicious right cross from the hard-hitting Johnson that sent him to the canvas.
Although Shihepo did not suffer any serious injury, the referee had seen enough and rightfully abbreviated the duration of the live televised contest.
Though a bit disappointed, Shihepo’s handler and world-acclaimed boxing promoter Nestor ‘Sunshine’ Tobias expressed satisfaction with his protégé’s overall performance and courageous approach during the first half of the contest.
“We at the MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing & Fitness Academy wish to thank our boxing fans for the massive support we received before and during the fight. The academy will continue to create opportunities for our boxers to host the country’s flag in the international boxing community.”
The defeat left the flamboyant and boastful Namibian boxer with a patchy record of nine defeats out of 36 bouts in the paid ranks, with 27 wins to his credit. Johnson stretched his squeaky clean unbeaten record to 17 bouts since turning professional.