Harry Simon and Ruben Groenewald came face to face in Windhoek on Thursday and both predicted victories in their upcoming light heavyweight fight which will take place at the SKW Hall in Windhoek on June 23.
Groenewald, a former World Boxing Union middleweight champion, said he had trained very hard and was ready for the fight. He said he first met Harry Simon in 2000 when he was his sparring partner in London.
“When my manager told me that I’d be sparring against Harry Simon it was like a dream come true. I gave a good account of myself in sparring and was holding my own. I thought I could beat this guy but the opportunity never came to fight Harry,” he said.
“We went our different ways, but now he’s older, he’s a tatekulu,” Groenewald said to much laughter.
“I respect Harry, but I’m coming to win. I’ve fought against the best in the world and I’ve got a heart. You can knock me down, but I will get up and keep coming back,” he said.
Groenewald said he realised that he would be the underdog since Simon was very popular in Namibia but this did not deter him.
“Harry Simon is more famous than the president in Namibia - he’s the sheriff. But there’s a new sheriff in town who comes from a little town called Germiston in South Africa,” he said.
Simon said he respected Groenewald as a fighter but that he would emerge victorious.
“Ruben is a good fighter, I’ve sparred with him. I’m not young anymore, but I am a gifted fighter, I’m ready and I’ll give you a great show. I’m still undefeated and I wont let Ruben destroy my record,” he said.
Simon’s trainer Lucky Mabunda said he was in top shape and would be ready for the fight.
“I’ve worked a long time with Harry and he is ready for the fight. We are working on his hand speed now and I believe he can win the fight,” he said.
Harry Simon is still undefeated after 26 pro fights, while Groenewald has a record of 23 wins, 9 defeats and 3 draws according to boxrec.com
The promoter of the fight Kinda Nangolo said it would take place at the SKW Hall but he still had to determine the ticket prices.
There will be several other fights on the undercard and the tentative schedule is as follows:
Harry Simon v Ruben Groenewald (South Africa) - light heavyweight 12 rounds
Pohamba Mandume v Ezaya Chilufya (Zambia) - welterweight 6 rounds
Gotlieb Ndokosho v Ronald Tamani (Zimbabwe) - featherweight 8 rounds
Joseph Katenda v Tinashe Madziwana (Zimbabwe) - featherweight 6 rounds
Chris Ukelo v Elia Shekuza - lightweight 4 rounds
Albinus Felesianu v Tom Chisenga (Zambia) - featherweight 10 rounds
Bantamweight Johannes Gabriel will also be in action but his opponent must still be announced.