Windhoek — The Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture Jerry Ekandjo has hailed the newly crowned World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight world champion Paulus 'The Rock' Ambunda, and urged other aspiring athletes to follow in his footsteps.
Ekandjo made the remarks during a brief courtesy call by local professional boxers and their handler Nestor Tobias at the sports ministry in Windhoek yesterday. "We were faced with difficulties in this conference room last week to map out modalities for this historic fight, but today we are back here smiling and witnessing the joy of ecstasy. You have not only made us proud, but your resounding victory put Namibia on the global map. Let me also congratulate the other three boxers who hoisted the Namibian flag by winning all their respective bouts."
The sports minister added that sport unites people and reassured the new champion that the ministry is fully behind him. "Unlike other sporting codes where participants are given breathing space during the competition, boxing is unique in the sense that the slightest lack of concentration can prove fatal as witnessed by the manner in which the Beast Master (Vikapita Meroro) abbreviated any interest his opponent might have had in their fight," said Ekandjo to loud peals of laughter from the boxers.
Meanwhile, Ambunda's victim, the dethroned Pung Luang Sor Singyu, has made a sudden U-turn and will no longer go ahead with his planned protest against the outcome of the bout in which Ambunda received a unanimous decision by all three judges to win the coveted world title.
The Thai boxer cried foul immediately following the decision of the judges after he dismally lost his WBO bantamweight world title bout and vowed to have the result reversed by the WBO, but has since swallowed his pride and accepted defeat according to various media reports in his native land that he had not done enough to retain the belt.
The bout was beamed live in Thailand and many pundits believe the Namibian won the contest hands down.
At the same occasion, Tobias announced that his camp has been inundated with requests from possible suitors to challenge the new champion within the prescribed 9-month period.
"So far, we have received tempting offers from the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan but for now we have to give the boy a well deserved break from boxing to recuperate after extensive sparring sessions during the festive season. The ball is now in our court to pick and choose his next opponent from within the top-15 ranked challengers."