Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Let me doff my korrie for Namibia’s internationally acclaimed boxing promoter-cum-trainer, bro Nestor ‘Sunshine’ Tobias for a job well done.
The brother has been subjected to unjust criticism and unfairly crucified by self-styled boxing pundits whenever a few of his protégés stumbled and found themselves on the receiving end in big fights, propelling those with sharp tongues to label him selfish and wearing two hats at the same time, as the brother doubles up as promoter and trainer.
This is a man who has dedicated his entire life to the business of trading leather, so to speak. Without an iota of doubt, Bro Sunshine deserves a special place in the golden pages of our archives for his tireless efforts to lift professional boxing to greater heights, notably in the global village.
From humble beginnings dodging stray bullets, bracing cold nights while sleeping at service stations in the notorious Hillbrow and Berea suburbs, south of Jozi, South Africa he rose. Let alone enduring a turbulent career in the dog-eat-dog business of professional boxing, surely, the man has defied all odds stacked against him to become one of the most decorated promoters in world boxing today.
Love him or hate him at your own peril, Bro Sunshine is doubtlessly the undisputed messiah of local boxing, having garnered no less than five world titles to his credit within a short period of time and with very little resources or much-needed support at his disposal.
Keen sport followers, including the self-proclaimed pundits, have developed this sickening culture of condemning those who don’t necessarily share their views, without glancing holistically on the issues on hand.
If overnight hero Julies Indongo had lost his much-publicised world title bout against Ricky Burns, daggers would have been drawn for Bro Sunshine, with pundits calling on him to relinquish his coaching duties.
He would be told in no uncertain terms to concentrate on promoting, whilst others would conveniently convince themselves with the misplaced perception that one had to be a great boxer during their prime time to mentor others.
It should be noted that the likes of Jose Mourinho, Alex Fergusson, Bruno Metsu are amongst few of the most astute and successful coaches in world football. But alas, they were certainly not the most noteworthy athletes in their prime time, which completely nullifies the notion that one has to be a good athlete before taking up coaching.
If my ageing memory serves me well, despite her pocket-sized population, Namibia is currently the only nation on the entire African continent that boasts a true world champion in the four top-ranked boxing umbrella bodies, apart from those ‘Mickey Mouse’ world titles.
This is an absolute top-notch achievement that needs the recognition it so dearly deserves.
And whilst the author is taking nothing away from ‘Blue Machine’, boxing – like many other sporting disciplines – is a team sport that requires the hands-on involvement and divine intervention of a supporting crew, just like in football, cricket and rugby.
In boxing, the backroom staff plays an important role in preparing their protégé to be mentally focused and physically fit, while it is also required of them to thoroughly study the strengths and weaknesses of their opponent in detail and work out a workable strategy.
Finally, yours truly would like to applaud MTC and extend my sincere appreciation for their unwavering financial generosity towards the plight of local athletes and sport in general, boxing in particular.
I rest my case.