New Era (Windhoek)

26 March 2012

Namibia: Ushona Bites the Dust

Windhoek — It's the same old story again as another Namibian boxer is denied a well-deserved victory on foreign soil through what many pundits believe was the result of questionable scorecards.

Betuel "Tyson" Ushona became another victim of shoddy scoring after the three judges, seemingly men from outer space, didn't praise Ushona's effort at all by issuing highly controversial scores against the boxer:

The scored the fight 117-109, 117-111 and 118-110 in favour of the clearly out of sorts Slovenian boxer Dejan Zaveck.

Ushona was fighting for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental Welterweight title in Maribor, Slovenia on Saturday evening.

Zavec, 36 also known as Jan Zaveck outside of Slovenia, and the only Slovenian fighter to grab a major world title in the paid ranks, looked disorganized and ageing against his tougher opponent.

However, it didn't matter at the end how rusty the Slovenian was, as the judges were in unison to deny the Namibian his big payday.

The former WBO African Welterweight title holder, Ushona's only loss prior to the fight came via another controversial decision in England against Denton Vassel.

Although the Namibian nicknamed Tyson, surely couldn't punch anywhere near the level of Iron Mike, he proved that he indeed had some talent, at least enough to give fits to the former IBF Welterweight champion.

He moved around the Slovenian, who was slow on his feet and a bit lost in Ushona's awkward style of boxing.

Zaveck relied more on his power, and it helped him to an extent, notably in the closing rounds of the fight, but otherwise the Namibian looked slightly superior to his opponent, and the fight was close and competitive throughout.

Referee Ingo Barrabas did a poor job of warning Ushona and deducting two points from him for lifting his head rather low - those deductions were rather suspicious.

Ushona's handler Nestor Tobias was fuming as he gestured at the judges whom he accused of having a premeditated agenda against his boxer.

"There we go again, losing on a controversial points decision for the umpteenth time. Nevertheless, I have to give myself a pat on the back and the boxer for a splendid job, but I feel I'm letting them down by bringing our top athletes all the way here only to get robbed in the absence of sufficient support structures," charged Tobias angrily.

Tobias says Ushona fought very well and deserved to win the bout in his opinion.

"This was doubtlessly his best fight, but the referee made things very difficult by constantly putting him under pressure as he deducted valuable two points in round four and eight for reasons only known to himself."

Tobias adds that if the fight was staged in Namibia or any other neutral venue - Tyson could have won easily, but lack of funds is a major stumbling block in staging bouts of such magnitude on home soil.

"Professional boxing in Namibia will die a slow death if the local business people don't step forward to finance high profile title bouts." Despite the setback, Tobias believes it will not be long before he produces another world champion.

He could not resist a parting shot at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for it's apparent failure to flight the bout live.

"They did not even bother to inquire about the broadcast rights. NBC's habitual casual approach towards professional boxing makes my job very difficult, because I always find it very hard to explain and convince the nation about the controversial referees' decisions."

BoxingScene, meanwhile, saw the fight even at 113-113, which means the Namibian would have come out as the winner on the BScene's fight card if the referee didn't deduct the points.

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