… No golden handshake for world champion
Namibia’s Head of State, Dr Hage Geingob, yesterday officially welcomed home newly crowned triple world champion Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo and congratulated him on his recent achievements.
At a well-attended welcoming ceremony at State House yesterday, the humorous Namibian commander-in-chief showered Indongo with praises following his astonishing victory that saw the likeable and soft-spoken boxer topple his much-vaunted British opponent, Ricky Burns, from the pedestal.
“I personally watched the bout live on television and was anxiously waiting for the lucky punch to be delivered in the first round, but to my disappointment – it did not come. So,
I started doing my own counting until the 10th round and by that time, I had seen enough to conclude that the belt was home and dry,” said Geingob to loud laughter from the floor.
The sports-crazy Namibian president also extended his gratitude to Indongo’s beaten opponent (Burns) for his post-match analysis of the proceedings.
“I must give credit to him (Burns), because he was brave enough by admitting that the best boxer on the night won, unlike many other boxers who would have conveniently sought refuge in all sorts of lame excuses blaming their defeat on other external forces.”
Geingob also encouraged Indongo to guard his multiple belts with a measure of jealousy when he puts his titles on the line. He also applauded Indongo’s handlers for a job well done.
In a separate engagement after the president’s brief welcoming ceremony at State House, media practitioners were accorded a platform to pose questions of importance to Sport Minister Jerry Ekandjo.
Quizzed whether the achievement of the newly crowned Namibian world boxing champion would be reciprocated with the same honours bestowed on other athletes who had achieved similar or lesser feats as Indongo, Ekandjo bluntly told the gathering that government does not make such provision for professional athletes.
“He (Indongo) started off as an amateur boxer and fought his way through the upper levels until he gained professional status. As a professional athlete, a world champion for that matter, Indongo is now well placed to accumulate millions of dollars as the sharks would be circling around him for a bite on his titles,” the minister remarked.