'Stop illegal fights'

The executive committee of the Ohangwena Boxing Federation has called for an upcoming boxing event at the Helao Nafidi Business Expo on 31 October to be halted.

22 October 2019 | Sports

Chairperson of the Ohangwena Boxing Federation (OBF) Israel Hamutumbangela says an upcoming boxing event, slated for the end of this month at Helao Nafidi, is in breach of boxing rules, as the organisers have pitted amateur boxers against professionals.

The organisers of the event, El-Clasico Investment and Weya Weya Investment Company, have scheduled six fights on the night, with Harry Simon Jr, Hedison 'Bulelo' Nghipondoka, Ihangwa Philipus, Nathaniel Kakololo and Gustav Petrus in the mix.

Other boxers on the card are only unknowns who have been billed under their first names, including Jonas, Taapopi N, Iyambo, Sigo, David J, Okatana and Paulus.

“They cannot pit amateur boxers against professionals. It's not allowed in boxing rules. These guys are just trying to make money, not realising that boxers might get injured in the ring.

“Also, they are not members of the Namibia Boxing Federation, which is the only custodian of amateur boxing in Namibia, hence the fact that they cannot organise any amateur-style boxing event in the region,” Hamutumbangela said.

He referenced amateur boxer Gabriel Shiwedha, who died last year in Opuwo after he was knocked out during an unsanctioned boxing tournament.

The tournament formed part of the entertainment at the Opuwo Trade Fair.

“We are the only custodians of amateur boxing in the region. We have the mandate to authorise boxing events, since we are affiliated to the Namibia Boxing Federation. This means that we are allowed to organise, supervise and manage boxing events in the region.

“We can however not allow this type of 'illegal' boxing to happen,” stressed Hamutumbangela.

He said boxing events should follow all procedures, such as medical check-ups, in order to protect boxers and not exploit them.

Thomas Mabuku from the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) said he has been inundated with complaints from the OBF about the boxing event, and rightfully so.

“I think people have realised that they can make money from boxing events, but they don't understand that there are bodies in place to make sure that these boxing events are sanctioned and that is done the right way.

“We cannot allow an event to take place if it's in breach of boxing rules.

“I understand that the organisers are now looking to remove the amateur boxers and to have a professional boxing card.

“If they don't do that, no one will sanction them and the event will not take place because we don't want any boxer to be injured,” emphasised Mabuku.

One of the organisers and chairperson of El-Clasico Investment, Sylva Kadhila, said they were busy sorting out the issues they have with the OBF.

LIMBA MUPETAMI

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