… Local experts back ‘Blue Machine’ in historic five-title showdown
By John Tuerijama
AS Namibian boxer, Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo stands on the cusp of making boxing history, when he clashes with America’s Terence Crawford on Saturday, in a fight in which five world titles will be on the line, local boxing experts have thrown their weight behind an Indongo win.
The undefeated boxers will clash in Crawford’s hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, where Indongo will put his International Boxing Federation (IBF), International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) belts on the line, while the American risks losing his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and World Boxing Council (WBC) light welterweight titles. Crawford, who boasts a record of 31-0, faces Indongo, who has a record of 22-0 to his credit, in a battle to become the first undisputed champion in the sport since Jermain Taylor defeated Bernard Hopkins on December 14, 2006. Although international commentators are giving Indongo little chance of upsetting Crawford, Namibian boxing experts have backed him to defeat the American. Founding President of the Namibian Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB), Fanuel Tjingaete, told Confidente that it would be a tough fight for both boxers. “Our boxer is well-prepared and will give his all, but Crawford is not there by coincidence and it will be up to Indongo to give his best on the night,” said Tjingaete.“I expect Indongo to win by throwing unexpected punches that make Crawford careless. Indongo has got the heart and is hungry for glory, because he knows that no other African boxer has achieved what he is on the verge of doing.” Former NPBWCB Chairperson, Kelly Nghixulifwa, said it will be a 50/50 fight for both boxers. He, however, added that Indongo is an awkward fighter, who will be a difficult opponent for Crawford.“Crawford is both an orthodox and southpaw fighter, who could easily use this to his advantage. He normally waits for round five or six to start fighting, but having looked at Indongo’s previous fights, he is a boxer who maintains consistency from round one to the final round,” Nghixulifwa said.
“It’s going to be a tough fight for Indongo, but it will surely go the distance, and anything can happen. I don’t really anticipate a knockout, but Crawford might land a lucky punch. Indongo is definitely prepared and confident that he will upset Crawford in his own backyard,” Former Namibia Boxing Federation (NBF) Secretary- General, Joe Kaperu, said that Crawford is a skilful, well-equipped and ready. “When looking at Indongo’s credentials, the Namibian boxer has attended a number of the International Boxing Association programs, and has fought at the Olympic Games. Indongo is truly at the highest level of his career, and he is confident when it comes to handling fights of such a calibre in international arena,” said Kaperu.
“The boxing programs attended by Indongo were the very ones attended by the likes of Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda, who competed in the 2004 Olympic Games and is the former WBO bantamweight champion.”
Kaperu said both Indongo and Crawford have the technical know-how and are fit, but once Indongo becomes focused and concentrates on what his trainer is telling him to do during the fight, “a knockout can come any time”. He said that if Indongo is tactically prepared, he can surely bring the titles home. “I will undoubtedly put my money on Indongo. Even if Crawford has the home advantage, each boxer is equally pressured to perform to the best of their individual abilities,” stressed Kaperu. Meanwhile, in earlier interview with Boxing Africa, Indongo said that he will be dedicating the fight to his late father. He said that his team is fully aware and are mindful of the challenge ahead. “We are also very confident and looking forward to this massive undisputed fight. We made a few tweaks here and there, but I think that most important is the concentration, the ability to adjust during the fight and to fight to the best of my ability,” Indongo said. When asked about Crawford, the Namibian boxer said, “Honestly, I see a great fighter, an undefeated champion and the best fighter in the junior welterweight division, before my arrival. I have great respect for him, but I have to do what I have to do and dethrone him from his status, because I am one of the best, and this is my time, and its Africa’s time.”
Asked about his Namibian supporters, Indongo said, “Namibia has some of the most passionate boxing supporters, not just for me, but for all our boxers, and that is just a great feeling. The support must come from your home country first. I will, however, also be representing Africa in this fight, and everybody that believes they can defy the odds and go up against the best, and win.
If you are that person, this fight is dedicated to you,” Indongo said. Asked about his prediction for the fight, the Namibian said he was up against a tricky opponent, and that any prediction was difficult to make. Indongo said that he would be the first to congratulate Crawford if he wins, and he expects the same from the American.
The fight will be televised on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and on NBC at 02h00 on Sunday.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015