Knockouts galore at Desert Rumble

Boxing fans got exactly what they came for on Friday night - world-class punches and knockouts.

02 January 2018 | Sports

The 2017 edition of the Desert Rumble, which took place at the Dome's Indoor Sports Centre in Swakopmund on Friday night, provided entertaining boxing for those in attendance.

The bonanza, which had seven bouts on the main card, including two title fights, didn't disappoint as the event served up three knockouts in total.

Vakufilapo 'Cowboy' Nashivela knocked out his South African opponent, George Mdluli after 57 seconds in the first round to emerge victorious.

Nashivela's right-hand uppercut to the jaw enabled him to claim the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) Super Welterweight Africa title. Although Mdluli was able to get up and stand after the eight count, referee Lazarus Nainda declared him unfit to continue.

Nashivela now has a perfect record of six wins from six fights. Although he has eight wins and a draw under his belt, Mdluli has now suffered five defeats from his 14 fights.

Another boxer who made light work of his fight at the boxing bonanza was local boxer Albinius 'Danny Boy' Felesianu.

During the lightweight non-title fight, 'Danny Boy' wasted no time, as his incisive left hook 47 seconds into the second round floored his Malawian opponent, Raston Kayira.

Kayira was unable to get up before the referee's eight count, fulfilling Danny Boy's promise which he made during the weigh-in that his opponent would receive a 'bonus dosage of pain'.

From his 18 fights, Danny Boy's record now reads: 15 wins, two defeats and one draw. The 30-year-old hard-hitting boxer from Swakopmund, is also the current International Boxing Federation (IBF) Africa Junior Lightweight champion.

The main fight between Paulus 'El Jesus' Ambunda and Tanzanian Nasibu Ramadhan was worth its billing. The soft-spoken Ambunda allowed his knuckles to do the talking as he peppered Ramadhan with clever jabs and hurtful uppercuts in the first two rounds.

Ramadhan was no walkover, giving as much is he got during the first five rounds. With 35 fights under his belt, the Tanzanian is no rookie and that was clear to see as his strategic one- and two-combination punches often found their intended target.

However, as the fight reached its climax, Ambunda's confidence was boosted by the home crowd as he started to tire Ramadhan. Ambunda opted for body blows in the closing rounds as he started to tire Ramadhan and subsequently knocked his opponent down in the 11th round.

After the 12 rounds of boxing, the scorecard was unanimously in favour of Ambunda as it read: 118-109, 115-113 and 118-108 and deservedly earned the Namibian the WBC Super Bantamweight International title.

Ambunda extended his record to 26 wins from 28 fights, having lost only two bouts.

There were also unanimous points' victories for Namibian boxers: Joseph 'Smokey' Hilongwa, Jonas 'The Gangsta' Matheus, Immanuel 'Imms' Josef and Lazarus Shaningwa.

The Desert Rumble boxing bonanza which was held in tandem by Kalakoda Promotions and Salute Boxing Academy was a successful sporting event.

The showpiece drew over 600 boxing lovers including former deputy minister of the ministry of youth, national service, sport and culture; Pohamba Shifeta (current minister of environment and tourism); former chairperson of the Namibia Sports Commission Board of Commissioners, Vetumbuavi Veii, as well as the Namibian police chief Lieutenant-General Sebatian Ndeitunga.

ADOLF KAURE

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