Project beat Americans in America

Boxing fans and experts believe the only way Namibian boxers can beat Americans in America is with thorough preparation and technical perfection.

16 June 2021 | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

WINDHOEK

Three Namibian boxers - Julius Indongo, Walter Kautondokwa and now Jeremiah ‘Low-Key’ Nakathila - have found the going tough in America following defeats to American boxers in world title fights.

This has prompted boxing enthusiasts to feel that it is time Namibians recruit top coaches from the United States or Mexico to help the local coaches with the improvement of boxers and their techniques.

“I believe if we want to beat American boxers in America, we need to hire coaches from America and Mexico because most of the world-class boxers are from either Mexico or America.

“It would help us prepare well when we have these people in our camps, even if it is just for a few weeks or months,” says local promoter and former boxer Risto Ashikoto.

Ashikoto feels that Namibia would only reach the level of America if the government was able to provide equipment to academies and boxing clubs.

“The other thing we can do is that we need to expose our boxers to international sparring before big fights.

“Maybe if we take them to America or Mexico for a few months or weeks, we might be able to do something in that country or anywhere else in the world,” Ashikoto said.

Julius Indongo has lost to Terrence Crawford (2017), Regis Prograis (2018) and Daniyar Yeleussinov (2020) in the United States of America.

Many felt that Indongo did not do enough to take the fight to the Americans in his defeats and that is why he lost on all three occasions.

The ‘Blue Machine’ enjoyed success against Ricky Burns in Scotland, when he unified the super-lightweight world tiles, and Edward Troyanovsky in Moscow 2017 when he won two world titles.

The Namibian had registered only one victory in the USA, in a non-title bout in 2019.

Khomas Boxing Federation public relations officer Zesora Tjipe is confident that Namibian boxers have what it takes to beat Americans if they continue pushing and working hard.

“It is never really easy to fight anywhere abroad, but I think America and the stage is always even more difficult.

“We need to have the same drive and training that these guys have, if we are to match them.

“I believe we have to expose our boxers to different kinds of styles and to those similar to the opponent the boxers are likely to face,” Tjipe said.

Walter Kautondokwa, who was regarded as one of the world’s most feared hard punchers, also fell short of a victory in the USA after losing to American Demetrius Andrade in Boston in 2018 by unanimous decision.

The defeat marked Kautondokwa’s first professional loss.

“The only comment I can make on this is that our boxers really need to be exposed to the training of this guys.

“People in America live and eat boxing and if you go to that country half prepared or not mentally ready, you are guaranteed to lose the fight.

“When you prepare your boxer to fight in countries like the USA, you need strong sparring partners who are similar to the opponent.

“You need to spend more money to get the guy as ready as possible in order for you to turn out to be a winner,” said a boing pundit who chose to remain anonymous.

Many praised Jeremiah Low-Key Nakathila for not losing by TKO against one of America’s great prospects at the weekend.

But Nakathila did not look close to his usual form and failed to take the fight to Stevenson.

Shakur Stevenson said after the fight that Nakathila made the fight awkward and scary for him, even though he claimed the WBO interim super lightweight world title.

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