Namibia’s world title hopeful Jeremiah Nakathila put up an impressive performance, stretching his opponent Evgeny Chuprakov to the limit in their World Boxing Organization (WBO) inter-continental title bout at Ekaterinburg, Russia on Friday.
Nakathila went into the fight of his life with a squeaky clean sheet of eleven victories from the same number of bouts since joining the paid ranks and had the appreciative crowd on the edge of their seats as he unleashed a combination of uppercuts and well-executed jabs. It was a see-saw affair from the onset with the Namibian taking the fight to his more fancied opponent. Nakathila came out with guns blazing and had his opponent on the back foot for the better part of the opening stages.
The closely contested encounter saw both boxers showing an unbelievable willingness to fight by holding nothing back. Nakathila looked destined for a historic triumph but the Namibian started to ease back in the latter stages of the otherwise adrenaline-pumping 12-round encounter.
As the fight wore on, both boxers started to show signs of fatigue, resorting to pushing and holding each other. As has become customary in the global game, boxers are oblivious that a knockout is the only route to win a bout on foreign soil – the Namibian went on the offensive landing decent punches to his opponent’s frame, much to the delight of his corner.
Nakathila twice kissed the canvas as he was wrestled to the floor by his clearly frustrated opponent who resorted to using dirty tricks in a desperate effort to win by hook or by crook.
For the neutral fan, the fight was well balanced with the Namibian holding a slight edge but a hometown decision prevailed as all three judges gave the Russian the thumbs up – much to the disappointment of Nakathila’s corner.
“Obviously we are disappointed the decision went against our boxer but this does not take anything away from him because we strongly believe he remains a great fighter, despite suffering his first defeat on foreign soil.
“Hopefully the boy can only learn from this experience and correct the few mistakes he made. At this moment, all I can say in all honesty is that the better boxer lost,” charged a disappointed Nestor ‘Sunshine’ Tobias.