Amateur boxers upbeat ahead of Mandela Cup 

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Amateur boxers upbeat ahead of Mandela Cup 

The Namibian Boxing and Wrestling Control Board has dispatched a squad of 11 amateur boxers to the inaugural Mandela African Boxing Cup. 

The tourney, currently underway in Durban, South Africa, will run until Sunday. 

Among the competitors are promising talents Trofinus Johannes, Try-again Ndeveelo, Elifas Shailemo, Festus Petrus, Gebhard Ipinge and Imene Thomas. 

The female rookies include Divas Namugongo, Ndapandula Ndegeya, Mirjam Ngilongwa, Naanda Shalongo and Salmi Shipwata, each vying for victory across various weight classes with the hope of securing spots to represent Namibia at the Africa IBA World Championship.

International Boxing Association’s Umar Kremlev explained why they named the competition after Nelson Mandela. 

“For Mandela, boxing was not only a sport, but a way to get through his hardest years, a science full of priceless life lessons, and a path to equality. 

“Let’s take Mandela’s dedication to boxing as a strong inspiration for young generations, and glorify his name through the Mandela Cup to make it a yearly tradition,” said Kremlev.

In his biography, Mandela described boxing as “egalitarian. In the ring, rank, age, colour and wealth are irrelevant. When you are circling your opponent, probing his strengths and weaknesses, you are not thinking about his colour or social status”.

Joining in the ring, president of the African Boxing Confederation Eyassu Wossen stated that the cup is not merely a competition, but a celebration of African heritage, showcasing young talents and paying tribute to Madiba’s enduring legacy.

“This event, set against the vibrant backdrop of Durban, offers a stage for our athletes to not only compete, but also embody the values that Mandela championed throughout his life. As fighters, the embodiment of strength and courage in the ring, our athletes carry forward the torch of Mandela’s vision – a vision of a world where discipline, respect and sportsmanship reign supreme.

“Let this competition be more than a contest of physical ability. Let it be a dialogue of cultures, an exchange of ideas, and a display of the unity that sport can foster.

Wossen encouraged all participants to compete with the integrity the cup symbolises. 

“Let us honour Mandela’s memory together, not just in our bouts, but in how we conduct ourselves outside the ring – with humility, grace and the unwavering resolve to uplift and unite,” he added.

The Namibian team is led by coaches Patrick Siluka, Joseph Titus, Maria Ikela, Teofilus Hamutumbangela
and team manager Jeremia Ndjembo.

Hamutumbangela told New Era Sport that the boxers are well-prepared and ready to take to the ring today. 

“Our tactics and techniques will scare off opponents,” he said.