Namibia: Nakathila to Headline Independence Bonanza

13 February 2020

JEREMIAH Nakathila will defend his WBO global junior lightweight title against Rofhiwa Maemu of South Africa at the Windhoek Country Club on 28 March.

It will be the main fight of the Independence Boxing Celebration Bonanza which was announced by promoter Nestor Tobias at MTC's head office in Windhoek on Wednesday.

"It will be Namibia's 30th anniversary, MTC's 25th anniversary and the Nestor Tobias Sunshine Academy's 20th anniversary, so it will be a good reason to celebrate with a victory," he said.

Maemu is an experienced boxer with a record of 19 wins, nine defeats and three draws, while he has a good record against Namibian opponents, having beaten Gottlieb Ndokosho in 2016 and Immanuel Andeleki in 2017.

He also won the WBA Pan Africa featherweight title after beating compatriot Tello Dithebe on points in 2018, but since then his performances have deteriorated, as he could only manage two wins in his last five fights.

Nakathila, on the other hand, is one of Namibia's top prospects with a record of 19 wins and only one defeat, and is currently ranked second in the world by the WBO. He is the current WBO Global super featherweight champion, while he previously held the WBO Africa super featherweight title and defended it on four occasions.

At yesterday's press conference, Tobias said Nakathila was close to a world title fight.

"This kid has fought some of the top guys in the world and now only time will tell when he will fight for the world title. My feeling is that it will happen later this year because he is now very close. He is ranked second by the WBO, while the number one ranked boxer Oscar Valdez will fight for the WBC title, so Nakathila will move up to number one and should get a mandatory shot at the title by about October," he said.

Nakathila, meanwhile, said he was more than ready for the fight.

"I'm happy and thankful for this opportunity. I've been training since January, and then this opportunity came. I've been helping Harry Simon Junior prepare for his upcoming fight, so I'll be more than ready for this fight," he said.

There will be a further 10 fights on the undercard, which will see other top prospects in action.

In the main supporting bout Mikka Shonena, who is still undefeated after 15 fights and is ranked fourth in the world by the WBO, will take on Twaha Kiduku of Tanzania who has a record of 15 wins, six losses and one draw. Kiduku previously held the little-known Universal Boxing Organisation Africa super welterweight title in 2018, but he hasn't been very successful lately, losing three of his last five fights.

Namibia's former WBO Africa middleweight champion Walter Kautondokwa will also be in action when he takes on Alick Mwenda of Malawi in a middleweight bout over eight rounds.

Kautondokwa is rebuilding his career after losing two of his last three fights, which included a WBO world title shot against Demetrius Andrade 16 months ago, but he should be too strong for the Malawian who has a mediocre record of seven wins and 15 losses.

Paulinus Ndjolonimus, who is still undefeated after 10 fights, will take on the experienced Malawian Charles Misanjo (29 wins, 18 losses) in a middleweight fight, while Charles Shinima, who is also undefeated after 10 fights, will take on Liberty Muwani of Zimbabwe (4 wins, 4 losses) in a junior middleweight fight over six rounds.

Some of the other upcoming Namibian boxers who will be in action include Phillipus Shaanika, Michael Bernard, Filipus Nghitumbwa, Fillemon Nghitenyane and Abed Shikongo.

Tobias, meanwhile, added that Harry Simon Junior is in top shape and ready for his fight against Jabulani Makhense of South Africa at Emperors Palace outside Johannesburg on 21 March. Makhense, who is still undefeated after nine fights, will be defending two titles - the WBA Africa super lightweight title and the IBF Africa super lightweight title against Simon Junior, but Tobias said that Simon Junior was ready to dethrone him.

"Harry Simon Junior will give us another reason to celebrate on 21 March. He is very committed at training and although Makhense is a tough fighter, we are ready for that war," he said.

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