WINDHOEK â€“ The sun is not shining so bright on Namibiaâ€™s world acclaimed boxing promoter and handler, Nestor â€œSunshineâ€ Tobias.
Tobias is spitting venom over the apparent continued reluctance of local corporate businesses to plough money back into the development of professional boxing. Tobias, a former professional boxer himself, bemoaned the casual approach by potential sponsors to assist with the staging of major title fights featuring Namibiaâ€™s top boxers.
A clearly disappointed Tobias announced in Windhoek yesterday that inadequate funding has forced him to postpone this weekendâ€™s eagerly awaited boxing tournament that was to have two WBO Africa title fights featuring Paulus â€œthe Rockâ€ Ambunda and Bethuel â€œTysonâ€ Uushona as the main attraction.
â€œWe have engaged in talks with potential sponsors who in turn appeared to be interested only to give us the cold shoulder at the last minute. People should understand sponsorship money does not go straight into the pockets of Nestor (Tobias), but towards expenses accrued during these tournaments such as boxersâ€™ perks and all other related expenses,â€ fumed Tobias.
â€œBoxing is a very expensive exercise and I must confess, Iâ€™m very disappointed with the casual fashion in which our corporate sector view the involvement in professional boxing. Namibia is blessed with highly talented boxers who are undoubtedly destined for the bigger stage but these talent could become a daily delicacy for stray dogs if the current situation continues.â€
He expressed the hope that the Hitmanâ€™s come-back fight will go on unhindered, as they are currently engaged in serious negotiations with potential sponsors to have them on board for the end of the year boxing bonanza.
â€œCurrently, we have four Namibian boxers in the top 10 world ranking in their respective weight categories. Moses is ranked number three, Ambunda stands at number four and Meroro edged into 5th position while Uushona has shifted into a respectable 7th position.
These boys need to stay in good shape because they stand a very good chance to have a crack at a world title at any given time. The boxers must remain active to maintain their sharpness but how could that happen without proper preparations in the absence of committed sponsors.
In the meantime, Tobias announced that Namibiaâ€™s middleweight title hopeful Wilbeforce Shihepo will stake a claim for the WBO Africa Middleweight title against holder Peter Mashamaite in Johannesburg on December 4 this year. Shihepo boasts a remarkable record of 11 stoppages in 21 fights with six losses while his South African opponent is a veteran of 18 wins, 8 defeats and one draw.
WBO Africa Lightweight champion, Martin Haikali, is to defend his title outside the Namibian borders when the soft-spoken venomous boxer takes on a yet-to-be identified Ghanaian opponent in Accra in January next year.