WINDHOEK – It was nothing but a haze of intimidation and an exchange of verbal jabs between Mendu “Hands of God” Kaangundue and Charles Shinima, who will both headline this weekend’s ‘Back to the Roots Boxing Bonanza” at the A. Shipena Secondary School in the capital.
The MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing & Fitness Academy yesterday held a press conference in the capital, where promoter Nestor Tobias assured his boxers and the general public that Saturday’s boxing bonanza will go ahead as planned and maintained last week’s communication from the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) that said the board will not sanction any events until government avails funds.
The board’s letter indicated that the line ministry had no funds for the board to run its administrative affairs for the remainder of the financial year, which ends in April.
But Tobias yesterday said the board’s decision not to sanction local bouts, especially those in Windhoek, was farfetched and illogical as there will be no major administrative costs since all boxers on the card and referees scheduled to officiate this weekend’s bonanza are all based in Windhoek and the event will take place in Windhoek.
In a separate interview with Nampa, NPBWCB acting board chairperson Philip Mwandingi said the stance indicated in the letter still stands until government avails the funds. “As we speak right now I am the acting chairperson. I can confirm to you that the stance of the board has not changed, if it changes people will be notified in writing. The ministry says they are working hard trying to see if they can avail funds. If that is sorted out, then there is no issue on our side,” he explained. Ironically, Mwandingi’s stance were contradicted by those of his fellow board member Ronald Kurtz, who disagreed with Mwandingi, saying there was no reason to stop tournaments in Windhoek because the function requirements were not affected.
“The main issue was the payment of the referees, which seems to have been sorted out. The chairperson of the referees indicated to me that the issue of payment has been sorted out. We will assess each tournament proposal according to its merit,” Kurtz said.
As for Saturday’s main actors Kaangundue and Shinima, both boxers at yesterday’s presser indicated their readiness and also grabbed the opportunity to send stern warnings to each other.
The more experienced Kaangundue cautioned Shinima to be ready for war as he intended to use Saturday’s fight to prove that he remains one of the best. Equally, Kaangundue confidently maintained that Shinima is a “small boy who will do nothing to him” and come Saturday, he will prove to the public that Shinima is indeed a “small boy”.
On his part, a calm and collected Shinima refused to be drawn in the usual trash talking of boxers, saying his fists will do the talking when he squares off against Kaangundue at the weekend.
“It’s okay, he can call me a small boy all he wants but I will not take my respect for him inside the ring on Saturday. I will prove why I’m not a small boy and he must be ready for me as I prepared very well for this fight. I almost felt disappointed when I heard that the board might not sanction our fight but lucky enough our promoter Tobias has just assured us that the fight is on. So, the only thing left is for me to get into the ring and prove myself.