Harry Simon, the hero of Namibian boxing made a welcome return to the ring last week and swiftly showed his hordes of fans that he still enough fire power in him to challenge for one or the other titles on offer.
Granted, Harry still has to do a significant lot to do to convince his fans that he was ready to step up the plate and challenge for a world title.
Within the next weeks and months, the former world champion’s stable will have to work in overdrive to keep the boxer in fine shape while also negotiating for opportunities to engage in competitive fights.
His second round technical knock-out against Hungarian, Zoltan Kiss Junior had Harry’s fans and almost the entire Namibia glowing with joy and pride.
With so many months under the radar and supposedly keeping in shape in South Africa, Harry was expected to deliver nothing else than an outstanding performance.
He did not disappoint has he pummeled his visiting opponent into submission.
Harry has indeed arrived. And with it, unfortunately, the animosity between his fans and those supporting boxers from the MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing and Fitness Academy was also reignited.
While some were celebrating Harry’s victory, a section of the boxing population made sneering remarks on social media and in open discussion about how Harry will not make it against a more formidable opponent.
This is what Namibian boxing and sport in general does not need. What has reared its ugly head is an age old feud between Harry Simon and Nestor Tobias, fought through the supporters of their various camps.
Where it originated is not certain considering that the two gentlemen have been in the trenches together, fighting for the same club as amateurs and went on to win South African Springbok colours in during the pre-independence era.
After that they both joined the professional same stable in South Africa before Harry became WBO World Champion under Rodney Berman’s promotions company.
Remarks this week in a local daily about the manner in which Harry Simon’s bout was allegedly poorly organised has added fuel to the fire, flaring up emotions from scratch.
Boxing needs both men to rise up and be bigger than the bickering that they have encouraged their fans and sponsors to engage in.
Boxing needs exemplary figures to encourage attract more support for the sport and stage as many more bouts in Namibia.
The two camps need not share the same stage but for the good of the brand of boxing, they will be better advised to cooperate and ensure that value is increased to benefit all those in boxing.
Now is not the time for egos. It is time for boxing to be elevated to a higher status and that requires the major players lose their foul smelling attitudes and rather spend their energies on the things that will promote boxing and make it very attractive to financiers.
There is huge potential. Unfortunately it will require a fine tuning of attitudes and egos.