Windhoek-Whilst the country’s most popular sporting discipline boxing is still licking its wounds from boardroom wrangles – the leather trading code has been dealt a further blow to its already wobbling image and waning credibility.
Veteran Namibian cruiserweight boxer Vikapita ‘Beast Master’ Meroro would not only forfeit his fat purse from his abbreviated non- title bout against South African opponent Kevin Lerena, but those in the know say he could face further sanctions from the country’s presiding body, the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB).
Meroro surprised friend and foe when he raised his hands in the fifth round signalling to the referee that he had endured enough battering from Lerena.
The much-publicized bout, billed as the main undercard fight to the Hekkie Budler vs Joey Canoy IBO junior flyweight title fight, left the large crowd at the fully packed Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, reeling in confusion.
The pot-bellied Namibian, who appeared totally out of his depth and somewhat resembling an amateur wrestler, found himself at the receiving end of Lerena’s well-planted punches.
The clearly out of sorts Meroro offered very little resistance if any, and unwittingly paid a razor quick visit to the canvas in the opening round after a harmless looking left hook dispatched him to the floor.
Local boxing experts have since been calling on the country’s professional boxing control body, saying the NPBWCB has a moral obligation to investigate Meroro and his corner over the pugilist’s hotly debated level of fitness and readiness for a fight of such magnitude – let alone his sheer lack of commitment and patriotism.
“This is absolute hogwash and totally unacceptable – the boy was physically not in a decent condition to climb into the ring. His actions brought Namibian boxing into disrepute,” charged one irate boxing fan who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.
“That man is a disgrace to the oath of Namibia. He brought shame to our Land of the Brave and should never be allowed to fight again. Athletes must be made aware that they are not only representing themselves but the entire nation when on international assignments,” further vented the boxing diehard.
Quizzed as to whether Meroro went through the normal medical and fitness checking routine before he was granted a clean bill of health by the board’s medical department prior to his departure to South Africa, the board’s medical department through Dr Kenny Hepundjua insisted that questions must be put in writing upon which his request was promptly met.
However, after a while, Hepundjua, a medical practitioner, responded with the following message via email: “Dear Mr Kambaekwa, your questions have been well received and will enjoy my attention next week. You should have some answers by next week Thursday.”