New Era Newspaper Namibia

Lawyers roped in as Indongo, Tobias fight intensifies … US promoter confirms agreement with Indongo

WINDHOEK, 23 November 2016 - Nestor Tobias (L) and Julius 'Blue Machine' Indongo (R) pictured at a media conference in Windhoek. Indongo will challenge for the Super Lightweight IBO and IBF titles in Russia on 03 December 2016. (Photo by: Maqonda Ndlovu) NAMPA

Otniel Hembapu
Windhoek

As reported by New Era Sport on Friday, Namibia’s former triple world champion Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo is pushing to sever ties with the country’s leading boxing promotion, the MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing and Fitness Academy, this reporter can further confirm that Indongo has now instructed his lawyers to take up the matter.

In Friday’s report, inside sources at the Sunshine Academy, which is spearheaded by award-winning promoter Nestor Tobias, claimed that Indongo had resolved to terminate his association with Tobias and his academy following an ugly spat between the two over unpaid purse money in excess of N$1 million that is allegedly owed to Indongo.

The purse money allegedly owed to Indongo by Tobias is said to be from the Ricky Burns fight, which saw the skillful Indongo outfox the Scotsman to snatch the coveted WBA super lightweight world title earlier this year.

In an effort to shed more light on the unfolding controversy, New Era Sport repeatedly tried to induce Indongo to confirm his departure from Tobias’ academy, but the boxer was reluctant and would not confirm nor deny his exit, saying: “I can’t comment on those things right now. I’m currently on leave and I’m at the village, I really want to enjoy my peace this side. That’s why I don’t want to comment on those issues.”

It later emerged that Indongo had in fact already instructed his lawyers, Katjaerua Legal Practitioners, on Tuesday last week (December 5) to start the process of terminating his alliance with the Sunshine academy.

In a letter from Katjaerua Legal Practitioners to Tobias – that New Era Sport has seen – Indongo claimed he had no valid and legal exclusive promotional contract with MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing & Fitness Academy and further demanded that Tobias stop making reference to him as “his boxer”, because he has now “legally” appointed American Michael Carter of The Carter Connect as his manager, and Carter’s associate Larry Brown of the LB Courage to Change Boxing Club as his new trainer.

Also in the letter, Indongo, through his lawyers, further asked Tobias to refrain from addressing any letters, emails or other correspondence on his behalf to any interested party in the boxing world.
“In sum, our client reserves his rights to take any appropriate legal action against you, should you persist to use our client’s name or purport to act on his behalf. This letter hereby informs that you have no such authority,” reads part of the legal practitioners’ letter.

Tobias, through his lawyers Sisa Namandje & Co. Incorporated on Thursday last week (December 7), responded to Indongo’s legal team, pointing out that the boxer does in fact have a valid exclusive promotional contract with his academy. Tobias went on to furnish Indongo’s lawyers with a 10-page copy of the exclusive promotional agreement signed on February 4, 2015.

“We therefore hereby place your client on terms that he has no right whatsoever to engage any other promoter, or seek to unlawfully resign from the agreement without the consent of our client. Kindly therefore advise your client to immediately refrain from engaging in repudiatory actions, inter alia engaging other parties on matters covered by the agreement,” reads Namandje & Co’s response to Indongo’s legal team

In one of the letters, US boxing manager Carter wrote to Namibian police chief Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga, without the consent of Tobias, requesting for Indongo, who is a police officer by profession, to be granted one year of unpaid leave of absence to enable the boxer to start preparing for his next fight.
But Tobias got wind of the request and immediately wrote to Carter Connect, demanding that Carter refrain from contacting Indongo directly and that he refrain from referring to Indongo as “their boxer”.

In a separate email sent to the local media over the weekend, Carter again maintained that he has a management agreement with Indongo, which was granted the blessings of the Namibia Boxing and Wrestling Control Board on November 29.

The US native further claimed that the Namibian boxing board had recognised him and his associate Larry Brown as Indongo’s new manager and trainer.

“We were informed by the Namibian Boxing Board, in its capacity as the governing authority of boxing in Namibia, that it has never had any contract between Indongo and Tobias on file that it acknowledges as a valid agreement between the boxer and Tobias’ MTC Sunshine Boxing & Fitness Academy, or any other promotional organization in Namibia. So, we maintain that the Namibian Boxing Board is in total support of Julius’s agreement with both myself and Brown,” Carter said in the email.

He went on to say: “Based upon our conversations with Julius, the Control Board, and communication with Julius’s attorney, Esmeralda Katjaerua, Julius was perfectly within his rights to pursue other management and training opportunities as he desired, without any legal conflicts or barriers.

“We are actively and aggressively pursuing various proposals with a variety of promoters who have an interest in signing Julius to their organisations. It is our goal as an organisation to get Julius back on top of the Super Light Weight/Jr. Welterweight boxing division, where he belongs. But also, and perhaps more importantly, to provide him with a fair and just financial accounting that has apparently been denied to him in the past.”

In a brief press statement released on Friday, Tobias said: “We will now allow the legal process to take due course and do not wish to comment on this matter any further.”

Indongo could become the fifth boxer to sever ties with Tobias, following the departure of former world WBO world champion Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda, Bethuel ‘Tyson’ Ushona, Willbeforce ‘Black Mamba’ Shihepo and Vikapita ‘Beastmaster’ Meroro.

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Caption: Indongo Tobias jpg –