A Golden Year for Namibian Boxing
Namibian boxing had a great year in 2005, which culminated in several prizes at the Namibia Sport Awards function at the end of October.
On the amateur front, Namibia won the Zone Six Championships in Bloemfontein, while flyweight Japhet Uutoni won a gold medal at the African Championships in Morocco.
On the professional front, Paulus ?The Hitman? Moses won the vacant Pan African WBA Lightweight title, while several other budding professionals improved their records during the year.
One of these is British-based welterweight Paulus ?Ali? Nuumbembe who won four and drew one fight in 2005 to line up a Commonwealth eliminator fight against Joshua Okine of Ghana in February, 2006.
At the Namibia Sport Awards, Uutoni won the Sportsman of the Year, Moses won the Sport Achiever of the Year, and Boxing won the Best Development Programme of the Year award.
Some of the most notable achievements of the year were as follows:
Boxers win Zone Six Championships
Namibia?s amateur boxing team won the overall title at the Zone Six Championships in Bloemfontein, South Africa on March 12.
Namibia also won the Best Team award, while Paulus Ambunda won the Boxer of the Tournament award.
Namibian boxers won four gold, two silver and two bronze medals at the championships. The gold medal winners were Ambunda, who beat South Africa?s Bongani Mahlangu 21-8 on points in the final of the 54kg bantamweight category, Japhet Uutoni (48kg light flyweight), Gotlieb Ndokosho (57kg featherweight) and Tobias Munihango (91kg heavyweight).
Ushona remains unbeaten
Namibian welterweight champion Tyson Ushona remained unbeaten after beating South Africa?s Schoeman Sindane on a fifth round technical knockout in Windhoek on March 18.
After an even first round, Uushona stepped up the pace in the second and third rounds. By the fourth round Uushona was landing freely with punches to the head, and with Sindane offering no resistance, the referee stopped the fight in the fifth round.
The win extended Ushona?s professional record to 11 wins from 11 fights.
The Hitman beats Montsho
In the main supporting bout Namibian lightweight champion Paulus Moses also took his professional record to 11 wins from 11 fights after knocking out South Africa?s Shadrack Montsho in the third round.
After a slow start, Moses sent Montsho to the canvas in the third round, and although he got up, the referee counted him out on his feet.
Kanime KO?d in 1st round
The results of other fights on the March 18 undercard were as follows:
South Africa?s Delta Mukuthi knocked Namibia?s Kanime Kanime out in the first round of their welterweight fight. It was Kanime?s 6th loss from 12 professional fights.
Namibia?s Jason Naule knocked South Africa?s Siyolo Dabula out in the fourth round of their junior welterweight fight. It was Naule?s second consecutive victory as a professional.
Namibian welterweight Daniel Kashela beat South Africa?s Nkosinathi Dayi on points over four rounds. It was Kashela?s third win from four professional fights.
Namibian bantamweight Joseph Jermia convincingly won his professional debut on points against South Africa?s Ntobelo Makaleni.
No news of US-bound trio
Shortly after this tournament, Jermia, Ushona and Namibia?s former Pan African WBA Welterweight champion Rambo Hantindi joined the stable of Namibia?s former world champion Harry Simon, who had since become a promoter. But no news came of promised fights in the United States and the trio were not heard of again in 2005.
Nuumbembe beats Jones
Paulus Ali Nuumbembe easily overcame the unbeaten Francis Jones in Hartlepool in March, beating him on points over six rounds.
Nuumbembe in controversial draw
Ali Nuumbembe controversially drew his WBO Intercontinental title fight against British welterweight champion David Barnes in England in late April.
Ringside commentators said that Nuumbembe should have been awarded the points decision and that Barnes was lucky to escape with a draw.
Nuumbembe went into the fight on four days notice after Barnes? Commonwealth title fight against Ghanaian southpaw Joshua Okine fell through.
Uutoni wins gold in Morocco
A Namibian team of six boxers won one gold and two bronze medals at the African Boxing Championships in Casablanca, Morocco.
It was Namibia?s best performance yet at the biennial amateur championships, coming fourth out of 24 nations, while the next best SADC nation South Africa, could only manage 8th place.
Namibia?s gold medallist was the youthful Japhet Uutoni who showed tremendous courage and commitment to beat the home crowd favourite, Morocco?s Bouchtouk Redoubane 23-17 on points.
Paulus Ambunda won a bronze medal in the bantamweight category, while Tobias Munihango won a bronze medal in the heavyweight category.
The Hitman remains unbeaten
Paulus ?The Hitman? Moses maintained his unbeaten record as he beat South Africa?s Clinton Kinnear on a fourth round technical knockout at Swakopmund?s Hotel and Entertainment Centre on May 7.
At the end of the second round Moses had Kinnear in trouble against the ropes and in the third round Kinnear was knocked down for the count of eight.
By the fourth round Moses was all over Kinnear, who had clearly had enough as his corner threw in the towel.
Shileka beats Tshiambaro
In the main supporting bout on May 7 Namibia?s Gottlieb Shileka beat South Africa?s Mpho Tshiambaro on a fifth round technical knockout. It was Shileka?s 11th win from 12 professional fights.
Namibia?s Jason Naule beat South Africa?s Vusi Dladla unanimously on points ? 60-55, 60-54 and 60-54 ? to record his third victory as a professional.
Daniel ?Open Fire? Kashela had the crowd wild with delight as he beat South Africa?s Gordon Mofolo convincingly on points. Kashela was a unanimous winner to take his professional record to five fights, four wins and one loss.
Leon Jansen and South Africa?s Eric Dludla drew their fight over four rounds, to put Jansen?s professional record to 2 wins and 1 loss.
Nuumbembe beats Russian
Ali Nuumbembe notched up his 12th win as a professional after stopping Russian Dimitry Yanusheivich with a huge right cross in the second round.
The Hitman becomes African champion
Paulus ?The Hitman? Moses won the vacant WBA Pan African Lightweight title when he knocked out South Africa?s Joni Simphiwe in the sixth round at the Windhoek Country Club on August 5.
The Hitman dominated the fight from the start and knocked Simphiwe down to the three times, before the referee counted him out in round six.
Under 20 boxers triumphant in Botswana
The Namibian Under 20 boxing team that took part at the Four Nations Boxing tournament in Botswana, returned home with five gold and two bronze medals as well as the winners? trophy.
Namibia won the team event with a total of 21 points, followed by Botswana (13 points), Mauritius (6) and Lesotho (2).
The Namibians who won gold were: Lucas Handivele (60 kg), Sakaria Lucas (51 kg), David Gabriel (48 kg), Martin Haikali (63,5 kg) and Abed Nghipulwa (67 kg).
Nuumbembe wins in style.
Ali Nuumbembe stopped British Masters champion Gavin Down with a third round technical knockout at the end of September.
Ali's work-rate was relentless and he broke down his opponent to give him a great victory.
In the third round Ali caught Down with a straight right hand that landed flush on the jaw. Downs? knees buckled but he managed to hold on and recover.
Ali eventually caught Down with a huge left hook, and with Down falling back into the ropes, Ali followed it up with a left hook and a right uppercut, which gave the referee no choice but to stop the fight.
The Hitman remains unbeaten
Namibia?s WBA Pan African lightweight champion Paulus ?The Hitman? Moses maintained his unbeaten professional record after beating South Africa?s Peter Adams with a third round technical knockout on October 1.
Adams provided some resistance in the opening two rounds, but Moses gained the upper hand in the third round, sending Moses to the canvas after 1 minute 30 seconds. Adams? corner through in the towel to signal the end of the fight.
Moses? victory against Adams was the main bout at an International Boxing Bonanza at the Ongwediva Trade Centre, sponsored by Telecom Namibia.
The results of the supporting bouts were as follows:
In the bantamweight category, Leslie Sekotswe of Botswana beat Petanena Elago of Oranjemund on a first round technical kockout, and in a flyweight contest, Simon Negodhi of Walvis Bay beat Joseph Bernhard of Oshakati on points.
In a middleweight bout, Vikapita Meroro of Aminius had a fine debut, beating Elijah Kwenaetile of Botswana on points, and in a lightweight bout, Junias Amunyela of Namibia beat his compatriot Bernhard Tjaverua on points.
Ali KO?s Tough Man Smith
Ali Nuumbembe beat tough British boxer Ernie Smith with a fourth round knockout on December 18.
After dominating the early rounds, Ali dropped Smith to the canvas with a straight right and a left hook in the fourth round. Smith got up on one knee but couldn?t get up before he was counted out. It was the first time in 111 fights that anyone had managed to KO Smith.
The win took Ali?s record to 14 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss, while he moved up to number 5 in the British welterweight rankings and number 26 on the world rankings.
11 gold medals for amateur boxers
An 11-man team of Namibian amateur boxers punched their way to 11 gold medals in competitions in Botswana and Zimbabwe.
In the Botswana round of friendly bouts, the Namibians scooped five golds, a tally which was equalled by the host nation and the event was declared a draw.
The gold medallists for Namibia were Nicky Natangwe (64 kg), Jatoorora Tjingaveta (60 kg), Johson Mwetupunga (75 kg), Japhet Uutoni (48 kg) and Johannes Gabriel (57 kg).
In Zimbabwe, the Namibians overpowered their opponents to walk away with six gold medals, compared to two for the locals.
Once again Nicky Natangwe, Jatoorora Tjingaveta and Johnson Mwetupunga were amongst the golds, accompanied this time by Sakaria Lucas (51 kg), Paulus Ambunda (54 kg) and Martin Haikali (60 kg).
Shihepo wins in Botswana
Professional middleweight boxer Willbeforce Shihepo beat Banda Matebula with a 2nd round KO in Pakalane, Botswana on December 8.
The victory took Shihepo?s professional record to 8 fights, 6 wins and 2 losses.
On the undercard, Namibia?s lightweight Paulus Kapia was knocked out in the first round by Ames Baloi of Botswana. It was Kapia?s first loss after four professional fights.
Shileka wins in Prague
Namibian welterweight boxer Gottlieb Shileka beat Frantisek Simek of the Czech Republic with a third round KO in Prague on December 9.
Shileka rocked Frantisek with a right jab in the third round and soon knocked him to the canvas, with the referee counting the Czech out. It was Shileka?s 13th win in 14 professional fights.
At the end of October Shileka beat a Nigerian boxer in Lagos, Nigeria with a second round knock out.