By John Tuerijama
FORMER Namibian professional boxer Ali Nuumbembe says more boxing stables in the country are good for competition as they will help to improve the standard of boxing and win Namibia more world titles.
Confidente Sport caught up with the retired boxer who shared his thoughts on the future of boxing in Namibia.
Confidente: As a former professional boxer, what do you think of the mushrooming of so many boxing stables?
Ali Nuumbembe: The number of boxing stables is not an issue. It is good for competition. Namibia can have more boxing stables because looking at it now boxing is more centralised to Windhoek. If I am not mistaken, it is only in the Khomas Region where you find more than one boxing stable.
The mushrooming is not a case here but having willing and skilful people who can train boxers and manage boxing in the country is what is needed. It’s even cheaper for promoters and managers to groom their boxers fighting locally than flying in boxers from abroad. You know that having less stables we will see a situation where a number of interested young Namibian boxers are left out.
Confidente: Do you think having many boxing stables will positively produce good boxers who can in future fight for world titles?
AN: Boxing in Namibia is still very small and it needs to grow. There is a need to have a complete national rating whereby at least top 20 boxers are rated nationally in all pro boxing categories. That will create a strong competition between stables. If a national title is on the cards and with good money, it can be a pulling factor for every boxer who will want to fight for kit before taking on any world title. More stables must be well supported and good competition at home will create a better chance for boxers to vie for world titles.
Confidente: Now that you have retired from active boxing how do you plough back into the community and what kind of programmes are you running?
AN: I am a boxing trainer at the Soweto Boxing Academy along with Tobias Nashilongo and Namundjebo. I train pro boxers and amateurs alike and those who just want to get fit with boxing.
My daily work involves sport, and I am an administration officer at the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) Sport Division, dealing with all sport codes the NDF participates in.
We are also planning on establishing a boxing club within the force and are looking at launching an Armed Forces Boxing Annual Championship.
Apart from my involvement in boxing I am also a member of the NDF Okafangufangu Cycling Club which competes in road racing.
I also assist with raising funds to build classes and school hall of the B&H Kindergarten Pre-Primary School at Eenhana town. If anyone is interested he or she can contact me or the Pre-Primary School management.
Confidente: Is it true that you contemplating on establishing your own boxing stable that will scout for talent countrywide?
AN: I have been looking for facilities that will be good for a boxing gym with no success but now since I joined the Soweto Boxing Academy, we train professional boxers and amateurs. We put our skills together to train these boxers with my colleagues.
Scouting for talent countrywide is one of our aims, but is one of those exercises that we need financial support to cater for the travelling, meals and accommodation. We also want to buy boxing materials that we can donate to regions whenever we pay them a visit for our boxing clinics.
Confidente: Looking at the general boxing situation do you think Namibia has the potential to produce boxing greats in future?
AN: Generally, the boxing situation to me is normal but it all depends on the interest that people have in boxing in the country. My only wish is that people should sit in one room to iron out those small hiccups and by so doing boxing in Namibia will have a bright future.
Confidente: What do you think of the ongoing fights between boxing promoters and the boxing control board and how will that affect the development of boxing in the country?
AN: It can affect boxing development negatively. Every misunderstanding that is there at the end of the day only affects boxers negatively and nobody will want to associate with organisations that have infightings. That will mean no sponsors for boxing.
Confidente: What do you think of the lack of boxing infrastructure and does that impact negatively on the growth of boxing in the country?
AN: Yes. No one should be left behind and with few boxing facilities in the country it will result in many talented boxers going undiscovered. Potential boxers who could turn out to be pound for pound world champions will end up drinking tombo (traditional brew) at bars and that could be calamitous.
There is a need to build bigger facilities especially in areas where there are more boxers and we can also utilise school facilities in remote areas to develop boxing.
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