TWENTY-eight years into our hard-fought Independence, Namibia has produced a number of world champions including continental boxing stars. But I think that time has come for Namibia boxing fans to be treated to some mouth-watering action between local boxers as well. Challenging boxing bouts between local boxers must be encouraged as it has been seen started in earnest with our two boxing giants, Harry ‘The Terminator’ Simon and Vikapita ‘Beast Master’ Meroro. It is unfortunate, however, that this much awaited bout has still to see the light of day. It’s also encouraging that local boxers from different stables are now challenging each other for the national titles, and not just for international titles. If such development does take place, our national boxing can become very competitive. Perhaps it’s time that Nestor Tobias, owner of the MTC Nestor Sunshine Academy, and other local promoters think of having local boxers take on each other for national titles. For instance a bout could be organised between the current World Boxing Organisation (WBO) title holder, Mike Shonena to challenge the current World Boxing Federation (WBF) welterweight title holder Betuel Ushona. If such a bout materialises, it will be an entertaining fixture with both boxers coming from different boxing stables. At the Dome, Swakopmund this past Friday, it was encouraging to see former International Boxing Federation (IBO) lightweight pugilist Albinius Felasianu challenging former World Boxing Organisation (WBO) champion Paulus ‘The Hitman’ Moses to square off in a non-title bout probably in December this year. We will wait and see if Nestor Tobias will entertain such a challenge as boxing fans want to see both Felasianu and Moses trading blows. I challenge the two boxing stables to kick start the official negotiations for such a non-title fight at the coastal town in December. It is a known fact that we have more boxers in the ‘bantam weight’ division. Interesting it would be to see boxers from different boxing stables challenging each other. Instead of having a number of non-title fights, time has come for the Namibia Wrestling and Boxing Control Board under the chairpersonship of Ellison Hijarunguru to sanction some local boxers national titles’ fights. Let us produce national champions. If the young and upcoming boxer like Harry Simon Jr demonstrated such skill and determination last Friday at the Dome in the hope of eventually becoming a world class boxer, why is it so difficult for this young boxer to fight for the national title first? Is it lack of funding, 28-years after independence? The national boxing control board is failing to sanction national titles. Well that’s my observation regarding the lack of national titles. But this situation can be addressed if all boxing promoters including the boxing control board sit down and chart a way forward to ensure that we have a number of national titles. Athletics: I cannot help but wonder how on earth we were only able to send eight athletes to the 21st Africa Senior Athletics Championship held in Nigeria this year. Truly, are these the only best that Namibia can offer? May be Athletics Namibia (AN) will be able to tell what criteria were followed in selecting the team for Nigeria. I have been wondering what had happened to sprinter Tjipekapora Herunga since her failure to make it to the 2016 Olympic Gamesincluding the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. Not that I have anything against her but since the 2016 qualification debacle, we heard nothing of her whereabouts. It was tough luck though for our athletes in Nigeria. I mean having athletes stranded at the Lagos airport might have impacted them psychologically. Not that I expected our athletes to bring home medals. This is for a mere fact that these athletes normally don’t compete in competitive athletic competitions. We need to have our athletes compete competitively internationally in events such as the European championships, IAAF Diamond League and IAAF Indoor tournaments. The only way we can produce world class athletes is when both the private and public sector start investing in these athletes. There is no way that Namibia can produce the likes of former sprinter Frank Fredericks if investment is not forthcoming. How do we intend on doing well in major competitions such as the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, if our athletes only competes in the annual national athletic competition and rarely seen in regional and European competitions. The status quo will only change if we have an entry of our very own athletes in major competitions globally. I wonder who of our young athletes who brought medals from Algiers will be groomed to become Namibia’s top notch athletes. Do we have a funding to ensure that we prepare our athletes thoroughly? Or does the organisation like the NNOC solely depend on the international mother body to have athletes properly prepare for major athletic competitions. Do athletes receive their preparatory funding for major events on time?
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