Windhoek Just a few years ago, Namibia’s leading boxing promoter, Nestor Tobias, was hailed as arguably the finest boxing promoter in the business on the African continent by the World Boxing Organisation (WBO). However, the man popularly known as ‘Sunshine’ in boxing circles has now seemingly turned from hero to villain, as the supposedly romance with his former admirers has taken another twist. New Era Sport is reliably informed that Tobias and those pulling the purse strings at the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) are crossing swords. At the centre of the storm is the issue of Tobias’ apparent failure to advance payment in the shape of sanctioning and registration fees for the unified WBO/ IBO Super Bantamweight World title bout that featured Namibian boxer Paulus ‘the Rock’ Ambunda and Moises Flores of Mexico. Ambunda lost the fight against Flores on a unanimous points decision at the Ramatex Hall in Windhoek on June 11, but as a result of the outstanding payments, the IBO has resolved to remove Ambunda - currently ranked number 9 - from its world rankings. The Namibian boxer will remain suspended until he is in good standing with the world’s boxing authorities. In the meantime, Tobias from MTC Nestor Sunshine Productions pleaded innocence, saying the suspension is nothing serious, as it does not relate to any sort of irregularities, but merely to an outstanding payment. “You would recall that we had to raise more than N$7 million for Ambunda’s unification fight, which was of course a large amount for the biggest fight to take place on the African continent in a very long time,” he noted, adding that with very little financial assistance, his stable made the fight happen. Although it raised a large chunk of the money through own efforts, the academy was hit by high exchange rates at the time and had to pay two different sanctioning bodies in foreign currency. “We’ve been in constant contact with the IBO office, assuring them that the outstanding amount of N$231 000 would be settled in due course. I’m surprised that they have now resorted to this action while we had a verbal understanding in place. Nevertheless, we remain respectful towards their decision.” Quizzed as to how the suspension would affect the boxing academy and its affairs, Tobias insisted that it would not affect the academy in any way. “IBO is just one of five top sanctioning bodies we work with. We have no fights planned with IBO in the immediate future, so that is why it won’t affect us at all, but that does not mean we will not honour our outstanding bills. Unfortunately, boxing is an expensive sport and we continue to appreciate the support of our loyal fans, but at the end of the day we’re saddled with huge bills. Having to raise N$7 million for the last fight was certainly no walk in the park.” Tobias is adamant the decision to strip Ambunda from the world rankings is immaterial, as his protégé still retains his world rating with other sanctioning bodies.
2016-08-10 13:18:42 2 years ago