… As they battle to pay IBO, WBO, WBF, IBF licensing fees
By John Tueriajama
CASH-strapped Namibian boxing officials are facing the prospect of no longer being able to handle bouts sanctioned by international organisations, due to the non-payment of the licensing necessary fees.
This was revealed by local boxing referee and judge, Lazy Nainda, who said that among the challenges being faced by Namibian officials was the lack of regular fights, which was impacting them negatively, as they are required to pay annual licensing fees to the various world boxing bodies.
“We have to get our licences from the International Boxing Federation (IBF), the World Boxing Organisation (WBO), the World Boxing Association (WBA), the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and the World Boxing Federation (WBF) and various licensing fees are paid, so one can officiate,” said Nainda.
He said boxing officials are struggling financially, and a failure to pay these licensing fees, automatically results in them not being allowed to officiate.
The licensing fees payable are as follows: IBF (N$3 305), WBF (N$1 000), WBO (N$1 700) and WBA (N$8 00), and although this doesn’t sound like much, Nainda confirmed that Namibian officials were struggling to pay.
He was quick to point out that the only Namibian referees and judges, who have officiated at international tournaments, are Timo Haikondo and John Kaimbi.
“Let me truly tell you my friend, one of my dreams is to officiate a boxing fight internationally, but due to lack of funds, we can’t attend convenor meetings of organisations such as the WBO and WBA, which offers different courses,” he said. “I think the boxing control board must start sending boxing referees and judges to such seminars, and that can be the only possible way for some of us to realise our dreams.” He also urged the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) to urgently review the outdated Boxing Act of 1980, which prohibits females from participation in competitive boxing.
He said that it is important that the boxing control board urgently revisits the Act, and promulgate a new one that will address the current challenges facing boxing in the country.
“There is definitely a future for women boxers, and just like Zambia has produced a female world women champion, and the late Muhammad Ali’s daughter, Laila, was a world champion, our female boxers can also achieve this, if they are lawfully permitted,” he said. Nainda also urged the control board to set certain requirements, before an amateur boxer can turn professional.
Nainda said it is easier for amateur boxers, who have represented the country at global events like the Commonwealth and Olympic Games, to gain recognition, once they eventually turn professional. “The control board must seriously come up with requirements for when amateurs must turn professional. These (amateur) boxers don’t even know the basics; they are mostly throwing punches, while thinking they’re boxing,” lamented Nainda.
He said his interest in boxing started while he attended Iipumbu Secondary School in Oshakati. His boxing career was ended by a left shoulder injury, which led to a doctor advising him to quit.
Nainda had won a silver medal at the national boxing championships in 1994, hosted in Walvis Bay, and thought he could one day earn a living from the sport.
However, after he was told this would not be possible, he opted for a career as a boxing referee and judge.
He attained his first boxing training course certificate from the NPBWCB, following a course that was officiated the late Stanley Sono, from South Africa.
The course was an initiative of boxing promoter Nestor Tobias, and was attended by 12 aspirant officials.Nainda, however, struggled for two years, before being given an opportunity to officiate a boxing match, which eventually happened in 2003, during a boxing bonanza organised by Salute Boxing Academy.
“I was fortunate to be an official during the non-title fight between Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda and South African, Tshifhlwa Munyai, in December 2014, and I also handled the fight between former world champion, Harry ‘The Terminator’ Simon, and Tanzanian, Rashid Mutumla, when Simon ended the fight with a second round knockout.
He urged young and upcoming boxing promoters to emulate the work being done by Tobias, who heads the MTC Nestor Sunshine Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy, by asking advice and working together with the seasoned promoter. “He is the country’s most experience boxing promoter and can help others in producing world champions,” he said.
Nainda thanked his employer, Radio Energy, who has been considerate enough to give him time off, when he needed to attend to his boxing officiating duties.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015