…Promoter denies scam allegations
By John Tuerijama
THE cancellation of the much anticipated non-title fight between pugilists Harry Simon and Vikapita Meroro has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many local boxing fans who are now demanding their refunds. Boxing Promoter Joseph ‘Smokey’ Hilongwa this week told Confidente that those who purchased tickets can approach Shoprite and Checkers countrywide to get their refunds. He rubbished allegations of fraud against the failed bout’s promoters, saying there was a genuine agreement with Computicket Namibia for the sale of tickets, which also took care of refunds in the event that the fight didn’t go ahead. Dissatisfied boxing fans told this publication that the scheduled fight was just a scam by the promoters to make a quick buck. The much-talked about fight, widely advertised in the local print and broadcast media, created much hype that saw many local boxing fans looking forward to the showdown between the two boxing giants. However, a media briefing was called days before the actual fight day to inform the public that the fight had been called off and this angered many boxing enthusiasts. The epic fight was billed to take place at the Ramatex complex in Otjomuise at the end of June. “The fight was never a scam, and
like we informed people at the conference that they can come and request their refund as Computicket Namibia
is willing to honour the agreement,”said Hilongwa. “We have not gotten a single centfrom the ticket sales as all the money is with Computicket, hence the agreement we had with them and their system will verify who bought the tickets,” he added. Computicket Namibia National Sales Manager Andre Engelbrecht also confirmed that those who bought tickets can approach any Shoprite and Checkers stores countrywide and get their full refund. “There was no scam and like in the past we refunded money back to people who bought tickets (for shows that never materialised),”
said Engelbrecht. Tickets were selling for N$100 ordinary tickets and N$500 for VIP, while a table of ten people went for N$20 000. People who bought tickets can show the tickets as proof to Computicket outlets for them to receive their refunds. Hilongwa blames the Namibia Professional Wrestling and Boxing Control Board (NPWBCB) for scuttling the fight. “We had the necessary documents as per the requirement and all we wanted is the official sanctioning letter (from the NPWBCB) which we never got,” said Hilongwa. “I blame the Boxing Control Board
for the cancelation of the fight and we have since requested for an audience with them through letters and phone
calls but nothing has come to fruition yet,” he said. He said as boxing promoters they did everything that was required for the fight to go ahead. Hilongwa accused the NPWBCB for bringing unnecessary requirements
of weight, whereas in normal practice the weigh in must be conducted 24 hours before the actual fight.
“All that we want is to engage the Board and see if we can reschedule the fight. Yes, we are in consultation with some role players to have the fight on, I cannot tell you the details yet,” said the boxing promoter.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015