NAMIBIANS, who woke up in the early hours of Sunday morning, to watch the five-title unification bout between Julius Indongo and America’s Terence Crawford, were left angered and disappointed by our boxer’s performance.
He was easily dispatched in the third round, without Crawford even breaking a sweat.
The fearsome American added Indongo’s WBA, IBO and IBF belts to his WBO and WBC titles, making him the first undisputed champion in any weight division for over a decade.
In the aftermath of the fight, which took place in Crawford’s hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, local boxing fans are questioning whether Indongo’s camp had in fact chased a seven-figure payday, instead of giving their boxer a chance to prepare for the fight adequately.
Critics are also saying that better preparations could in fact have included fighting lesser opponents or even defending the IBF title against mandatory challenger Sergey Lipinets, from Russia.
Also receiving flack is promoter Nestor Tobias, whose haste to secure the unification bout, has also come under fire.
Although there is no use in crying over spilled milk, it’s important that we draw some lessons from the Indongo-Crawford fight.
What is certain is that in future, if Namibians are given the opportunity to grace the world stage, in events of this magnitude, they should be prepared and ready.
I must congratulate those who rallied behind the former champion, but indeed it was a sad morning, which was only brightened later in the day, when the Brave Warriors handsomely dispatched the Comoros, in the second leg of their African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier.
The 2-0 result, courtesy of goals from Muna Katupose, meant that the Warriors had overturned a 1-2 first leg deficit, to qualify for the CHAN finals for the first time, and we wish them luck ahead of the 2018 tournament, slated for Kenya.
But let us return to the disappointment of Indongo’s loss.
It was clear from the early exchanges that Indongo has an inherent weakness in his boxing make-up, which sees him swinging wildly in the earlier rounds.
This was fully exploited by the American, who managed to counter inside the Namibian’s wider shots.
Crawford dropped Indongo with a right hand in the second round. Indongo got to his feet, but looked compromised for the remainder of the bout.
In the third round, Crawford landed a vicious left hook to Indongo’s liver that caused the latter to fold like a lawn chair, as he crumpled to the canvas.
And that was the end of that.
Pound-for-pound, Crawford is seen as one of the best, if not the best boxer in the world, and it certainly looked as if Indongo and his camp approached this fight with their eyes wide shut.
What this means for Indongo’s future is anyone’s guess, but introspection is needed, because in professional sport, battles are often won through intense video and other analyses of an opponent.
We do not know what preparations may have lacked, in terms of Indongo putting up a better performance, but perhaps it was a case of money talking, rather than giving the Namibian boxer the best chance of further building a career, which now lies in tatters, after he lost three world titles and his undefeated status.
We hope that Indongo can recover from this, and take his career forward.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015