The Namibian (Windhoek)

25 February 2013

Namibia: Singyu Arrives for World Title Fight

THAILAND'S World Boxing Organisation bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu arrived in Namibia over the weekend in preparation for his world title defence against Namibia's Paulus Ambunda next Saturday.

At a press conference at the Windhoek Country Club yesterday, Singyu oozed confidence, saying he could not wait for the fight to start.

"I am very happy to be here in Namibia and I can't wait for this fight to happen. I can fight tomorrow already, I'm very excited and looking forward to the fight," he said through a translator.

Singyu's coach Romeo Desabille said they had prepared well and that Singyu was in fine form.

"We have been training for three months for this fight. Our training has been very good and Pungluang is in a very good condition. He is very excited about this fight - he is the champion, but he is preparing as if he is the challenger," he said.

Desabille said they respected Ambunda as a fighter but were confident of retaining the title.

"We have seen one fight of Ambunda on Youtube. He is a good fighter and we respect him but we are confident of victory," he said.

Desabille added that it was not a problem for them to defend the title in Namibia.

"If you are the world champion you must be able to defend your title anywhere in the world. Pungluang won the world title in the Philippines so it is not a problem for us to fight outside Thailand," he said, adding that they still planned to fight in the United States and Japan.

Meanwhile, the Nestor Tobias Sunshine Academy held a fundraising dinner on Thursday night to raise funds for the fight.

Sport Minister Jerry Ekandjo was the keynote speaker, while the minister of information and communication technology Joel Kaapanda also attended the event.

Ekandjo congratulated Tobias on being able to stage a world-class event in Namibia, and called on corporate Namibia to assist in the fundraising drive.

"The Academy needs N$4,2 million to stage the fight. This is indeed a large sum for one individual to generate, but not so if we all contribute," he said.

"Namibia is on the verge of producing its third boxing world champion, but it will only happen if we all show our support," he added.

The fundraising initiative was well supported with about N$80 000 being pledged by companies and individuals, and Tobias remained positive that the total amount of N$4,2 million would be reached.

Minister Ekandjo also said that the Namibian government was considering amending some sport codes' policies to allow more flexibility in sponsoring professional and individual athletes who represent the country at their own cost.

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