The latest boxing bonanza titled Defending My National Pride turned out to be a night of horror and ultimate defeat for Russian Boxer Roman Belaev who was sent packing and complaining that he got cheated by the panel of judges. The WBF Welterweight World Title turned out to be a contestation of falling ﬁsts, blood and sweat as Namibia’s 66.2kg champion Bethuel Uushona fought tooth and nail to defend his title which the Russians were adamantly baying for.
Belaev’s camp which constituted the ambassadorial ofﬁce that had descended on Ramatex to watch their own was left in sixes and sevens after a tight 12 rounds bout saw the two athletes exchanging deadly blows in the ring.
The ﬁrst six rounds were fair enough for Belaev who maintained his footing and delivered some direct clean blows at Uushona whose foot-work turned
to be quite terrible in the ﬁrst opening rounds.
Falling to the ropes and parrying the hairy Russian who cornered him at almost every turn, the prospects of Uushona coming out victorious looked quite dubious.
It was in the ﬁnal rounds of the ﬁght that the Namibian World Champ, catapulted by a raucous rallying cry from boxing fanatics realised that time was running out and he came out hard, turning the night into one of a thrill and brilliant boxing. By the time the referee called off the match, it was apparent that the ﬁght was quite close, yet the Russian seemed to have slacked a little, his bearded face readied and bloodied from Uushona’s ﬁerce blows.
The Villager Sports caught up with Belaev’s camp and something sounded very wrong, with his coach trembling and edgy while his entourage blasted the result as rigged. “They cheated, you won buddy, all I know is you won,” said some of the discontented Russians before Belaev opened up to this publication, ﬁghting his nerves rather, motioning to his entourage to explain it out in clear-cut English.
“I won, I know I won,” he choked on his words as The Villager asked if he was looking for a re-match, “I will come back, yes, I want a rematch, I won,” continued Belaev.
Uushona who had taken time to entertain journalists who ﬂanked him in the ring as he basked in the limelight of glory was quickly whisked off by his camp and was not there when the Khomas Regional governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua asked for the boxers by her sides so she could speak to the fans.
“We fought as brothers,” she said explaining how the match should be seen as a way of strengthening the Nam-Russian relations than a contestation of glory between the two and their respective sportsmen. Meanwhile the IBO All Africa Middleweight title ﬁght between Namibia’s Lucas ‘The Demolisher’ Ndafolu
ma and the South African Barend Van Rooyen stole the entire show marked by unforgiving blows and remarkable endurance.
Rooyen was stopped on his path to claiming the coveted title and rightly put to his place as Ndafoluma demonstrated again how hard it is for any foreign boxer to make it out of the Namibian rings with a crown.
Ndafoluma won by a convincing unanimous decision while Immanuel “Angel” Andeleki dominated Opuwo based David Shinuna to scoop the Junior Lightweight title after ten rounds of a barrage of ﬁsts which worked havoc much to the thrilled cheers of the nearly packed Ramatex Hall.
The Junior Middleweight National title fell to Vakuﬁ lapo “Cowboy” Nashivela, who knocked the breath out of the equally competitive Simeon Shafodino. Nashivela’s entrance was grand and the brilliant show of precision and endurance marked with a cold-calmness in the face of his opponent ranks him
among the future of Namibia’s boxing wonder boys.
Zimbabwean based Anyway Katunga buckled to his knees in the very ﬁrst round, overwhelmed by Namibia’s Japhat “Mysterio” Amukwaya in the ﬂyweight title ﬁght.
Joseph “Smokey” Hilongwa’s Super Bantamweight title ﬁght was not convincing enough as he struggled to dominate Malawi’s Robert Kachiza who disappointed his camp when he suffered a Knock Out in the sixth round. Nathanael “Iron Fists” Sebastian had his share of glory in the Junior Flyweight against Johannes Niingoti whom he knocked out right in the ﬁfth round.
Namibian boxing has made inroads into the international scene and the rise of the Walter “The Executioner” Kautondokwas and Julius Indongos in the world arena has a dazzling impact on the youngsters ardent for the glory that comes with defending Namibia’s pride.