NAMIBIAN boxers were on top of their game during Saturday’s ‘Champions in the Desert Boxing Bonanza’ held at the Vineta Sport Complex in Swakopmund.
In the main supporting bout of the Paulus Moses versus Jeremias Castillo fight, Betuel ‘Tyson’ Ushona comfortably beat Said Zungu of Tanzania over eight rounds.
Ushona was in control from the start and by the fourth round knocked Zungu down for the count of eight.
Zungu fought back bravely but Ushona continued to land big shots and once again knocked Zungu to the canvas in the seventh round.
Zungu managed to get up and see out the fight but Ushona comfortably won the fight 80-71 on all three judges’ scorecards.
In an international super middleweight fight, Wilberforce ‘Black Mamba’ Shihepo received some stiff opposition from Udiadia Mwahila from the DRC before he won on a unanimous points decision over six rounds.
The taller Shihepo had a reach advantage and landed some strong hooks by the second round, but Mwahila was quick on the counterattack and landed some combinations in the close exchanges.
Shihepo however was the busier boxer, pushing the tempo throughout and won the fight 59-55, 60-54, 60-54 on the judges scorecards.
Johannes ‘Tito’ Mwetupunga also faced a tough customer in Amos Temfuma of Zambia in an evenly matched international middleweight fight over six rounds.
Temfuma landed some good hooks early on that opened a cut under Mwetupuga’s left eye but Mwetupunga retaliated with a good jab.
By the fourth round, Mwetupunga landed some powerful combinations to the body, and in the final round Mwetupunga had Temfuma in trouble with strong hooks to the head and body but the Zambian fought back and managed to see out the round.
Two judges scored the fight 59-56 and 58-56 in Mwetupunga’s favour, while the third scored it a 57-57 draw.
In an international junior lightweight fight, Abraham Ndaendapo knocked-out Richard Muriri of Zimbabwe in the second round.
Ndaendapo already had Muriri in trouble with some big hooks in the first round and the end came soon in the second. He trapped Muriri on the ropes and put him down to the canvas and although the Zimbabwean managed to get up, he was soon knocked down again and this time his corner threw in the towel after 1:22 of the second round.
In a featherweight fight, Joseph Katenda beat Tinashe Madziwana of Zimbabwe on a unanimous points decision over four rounds, 39-38, 39-37, 39-37.
In a lightweight fight, Jason Mashala bet Lukas Handivele on a unanimous points decision over four rounds with all three judges scoring the fight 39-36.
In a junior lightweight fight, Immanuel Andreki beat Toivo Mukwendje on a unanimous points decision, 40-36, 40-36, 38-38.
In the first fight of the evening, Onesmus Nekundi made a stunning pro debut when he knocked out Johannes Gabriel after 33 seconds of the second round. Gabriel had to receive medical attention in the ring and was eventually stretchered off to an ambulance and taken to hospital. It was however just a precautionary measure and he was soon discharged from the hospital again.
Paulus Ambunda, meanwhile had an exhibition fight against four opponents as a warm up for his upcoming WBO bantamweight world title fight.
He fought two rounds each against Mathew Kandala, Lukas Sakaria, Abmerk Shidjuu and Immanuel Naidjala and impressed with his fitness as he maintained a high work rate and finished strongly against Naidjala.
Namibian boxing promoter Nestor Tobias said Ambunda was in fine shape and nearly ready for his world title fight against Pungluang Singyu of Thailand.
“Ambunda did what he had to do. The exhibition fight gave him confidence and was a morale boost. He must get top fit for when the world title fight comes,” he said.
Tobias said he was still negotiating about whether the fight will be staged in Namibia or in Thailand.
“I’m pushing hard to get the world title fight here in Namibia but they are also working hard to stage it in Thailand. At the end we will have to come to an agreement,” he said.