Taming China's Dong

The stage has been set for Mika Shonena to light up Ongwediva with a bout against China's Youli Dong.

21 August 2019 | Sports

Mikka Shonena says he has studied his opponent and that his camp has the perfect plan for Chinese welterweight boxer Youli Dong.

Dong arrived in Windhoek and met his opponent for the first time at the MTC headquarters yesterday.

The Chinese fighter is set to battle Shonena on Saturday at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF).

It will be Dong's first fight on the African continent and Shonena has promised him a rude awakening.

“The time is here and I have to thank my promoter and MTC for making this possible. My coaches have prepared me well, because I am fit and ready to fight in the north.

“I would like people to come in their numbers in order for them to witness a great fight,” Shonena said.

The boxer acknowledged the fact that he will be up against a tough opponent, but remains confident of emerging victorious.

Rated number five in the world by the WBO, a win for Shonena could leapfrog him to third in the rankings, which will get him closer to a world title fight as a mandatory challenger.

“People must understand that I am not only fighting for myself, but the whole of Namibia.

“I will definitely not allow Namibia to get beaten by China,” Shonena said.

The Chinese boxer is ranked 15th by the WBO and will have to be at his best to tame the Namibian.

Dong and his camp, however, believe they can spoil the party for Namibia.

The Chinese pugilist said he has seen a two-minute video of Shonena and will be prepared to work on his opponent's weaknesses.

Speaking through an interpreter, Dong assured Namibia of a titanic boxing night.

“It is my first time coming to Namibia and I am coming here to win the fight. I am still young, but ready to put up a great fight against a strong Namibian boxer,” Dong said.

It has been five months since Shonena last fought, but his camp is confident.

Shonena represented the MTC Nestor 'Sunshine' Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy at the Legacy Fight Part 2, where he dispatched his Tanzanian opponent Shadrack Ignas via a fourth-round technical knockout (TKO).

The Namibian will, however, be well aware that he is coming up against a man with a record of 15 fights, 13 wins, one loss and a draw.

Shonena will be comforted by the fact that he boasts a better record of 14 fights and 14 wins in his professional career.

Promoter Nestor Tobias said he is happy that the fight will take place.

“Staging such a big fight is not easy, but we have managed to bring in a man from as far as Asia to fight here in Namibia.

“It takes hard work and commitment to produce these top boxers from grassroots level.

“All this would have not been possible if it was not for our main sponsor, MTC, who has worked closely with us.

“Fights of this nature always come with a heavy price tag and I am happy that it is going to happen,” Tobias said.

Both the WBO Africa and WBO Asia Pacific titles will be on the line.

There will also be nine undercard fights, including one featuring the academy's top prospect, Harry Simon Jr.

Standard tickets are selling for N$100, while VIP tables that seat 10 people cost N$10 000.

Tickets are available at Computicket at Shoprite and Checkers outlets countrywide, and will also be on sale at the venue. The fight will be broadcast live in Namibia and China.

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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