By Carlos Kambaekwa WINDHOEK Barely three months after he was dethroned as WBA Pan-African Junior Welterweight title holder by South African Kaizer Mabuza - Namibian boxer Jason "Taks" Naule is bidding to reclaim the crown. The 27-year old Naule has been thrown another lifeline with a rematch against the hard hitting Mabuza in the "Telecom Namibia Box n Dine Bonanza" at the Windhoek Country Club Resort & Casino on the 16th of next month. Naule boasts an incredible record of 12 wins and one defeat in the paid ranks with 9 of those bouts failing to go the full distance, while Mabuza is a veteran of 23 fights under his belt with 18 wins, 4 losses and one draw. The soft-spoken Namibian boxer appeared unrecognizable during his shock defeat at the hands of Mabuza in front of his own fans on the eve of Namibia's Independence Day in March earlier this year, and is the first to admit that something was terribly amiss on that fateful night. "I've had enough time to go back to the drawing board and correct a few mistakes which I made during the fight, and strongly believe I possess the ability to reclaim the title if given another chance, and I'm determined to prove that Mabuza's win was a fluke." The 12-round bout will be preceded by no less than nine under cards that pits local professional boxers against their counterparts from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe respectively. The likes of Vikapita "Beast Master" Meroro, Gottlieb Ndokosho, Jatoorora "the Sting" Tjingaveta, Paulus "the Rock" Ambuda, Tommy Hango, Abram Ndaendapo, Simon Neghodi, Martin Haikali, Daniel "Open Fire" Kashela and Wilbeforce Shihepo are all going to be in action in what promises to be a high- profile boxing bonanza. "By supporting boxing, Telecom Namibia is making a contribution to the upliftment of the current and future boxers in our country and thus making a positive difference in the lives of so many young people," said the Board Chairman of Telecom Namibia Joseph Iita, at the launching of the "Telecom Namibia Box n Dine", in Windhoek, last Friday. Iita reiterated that Telecom has realized that its continuous investment in local boxing has the desired effects on the Nestor Sunshine Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy in its bid to assist aspiring boxers and boxing in general, as well as boosting the brand of Telecom Namibia at the same time. "When we reflect on the success of Nestor Sunshine Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy since its humble beginning, we can look forward with confidence to significant success in the ring for our young pugilists. "Many graduates from this academy have gone on to achieve national prominence and success and for us as a country and people, sports in general should no longer be treated as a peripheral activity. Sports should be treated as a modern way of life just as important in its own way as academic excellence or industrial success." He stated that no sport survives without the presence of spectators and applauded local boxing enthusiasts for their loyal support, and encouraged the Academy to beef up its efforts in attracting more fans to boxing. Iita also requested the media to focus more on the accomplishments of boxers instead of concentrating on controversy, conflict and problems in the sport and was quick to commend the media for the manner in which it had covered boxing. Telecom Namibia's Toivo Angula used the platform to throw a few punches in the direction of would-be boxing promoters, who are dragging his company's good name in the mud by accusing Telecom Namibia of affording the Nestor Sunshine Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy preferential treatment. "They should rather focus on the goods and fight their battles elsewhere instead of pointing fingers at our company - we have done nothing wrong in our gesture to team up with Tobias and do not want to be caught in the crossfire," fumed Angula. The slippery Telecom official willfully sidestepped crucial questions from the media wanting to know how much money Telecom Namibia has pumped into professional boxing so far, and even when pressed for rough estimates, he would not budge and refused point blankly to divulge any figures. The Telecom Namibia Box n Dine will costs N$3 000 for a table of six and N$500 for a single ticket, including a three-course meal.
2008-07-21 00:00:00 10 years ago