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Ongwediva to host WBO titles show

Namibia’s World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa champions will put titles on the line at the forthcoming Ongwediva Trade Fair on 1 September.

Undefeated WBO Africa welterweight champion Charles Shinima (16-0) will defend his title against experienced Tanzanian challenger Iddi Pialari (31-8-1). 

WBO Africa super middleweight champion Paulinus ‘John-John’ Ndjolonimus is still to confirm a new opponent after his initial rival Zambian Patrick Mukalo pulled out this week citing injury.

The bill’s promoter, Nestor Tobias of the MTC Boxing and Fitness Academy, also anticipates a fierce contest between national welterweight champion Emmanuel Mungandjela and challenger Hedison ‘Bulelo’ Nghipondoka.

In the main event, Shinima said he would retain his belt in style. 

“It’s a big opportunity for me and I promise a good showing. Now that the fight is rescheduled to 1 September, I have a few more weeks to train further. I am in top shape in readiness for the fight. I have no doubt that I will put up a great show against Pialari,” Shinima said. 

Ndjolonimus also has no plans of relinquishing his title, he said. 

“I have no doubt in my ability to excel. I will train and the aim is to be a world champion because none of us want to just be the WBO Africa champions but we are working on becoming world champions eventually,” the hard-hitting middleweight said. 

“My fans must continue having a strong belief in me, especially my fans in the north, come in big numbers on the day.”

Tobias described Ndjolonimus as the most feared boxer on the continent at the moment, as many fighters shy away from challenging him.

“No one wants to fight him. I have no doubt about getting him an opponent, either from Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, or Zimbabwe. I can get him an opponent right away,” Tobias said.

Meanwhile, national welterweight title challenger Nghipondoka described himself as “the top dog” who will take down “Namibia’s lion”. 

He called on the event organisers to extend an invitation to former Namibian presidents, Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba, as well as current president Hage Geingob, to witness history in the making.

The rest of the undercard will be revealed in the coming weeks.

MTC corporate communication manager John Nekongo called on the corporate sector “to embody the value of investing in local sport, especially boxing, as it has become extra expensive to host boxing bouts”.

“Namibia is one of two countries endowed with natural talent and it is important for the private sector to come on board and help produce future world boxing champions,” Nekongo said.