Namibian Boxers Contenders for Commonwealth Titles

SEVERAL Namibian boxers have been named as official contenders for Commonwealth boxing titles after the Commonwealth Boxing Council released their latest rankings earlier this week.

In the middleweight category, two Namibian boxers, Walter Kautondokwa and Lukas Ndafoluma are named as contenders for the Commonwealth title which is currently held by Felix Cash of England.

In the welterweight category, Mikka Shonena is named as a contender for the title held by Chris Jenkins of England, while Julius Indongo is named as a contender for the super lightweight title which is held by Philip Bowes of England.

Jeremiah Nakathila is named as a contender for the Commonwealth super featherweight title which is held by Zelfa Barrett of England; Sakaria Lukas is a contender for the featherweight title which is currently vacant; and Jonas Matheus is a contender for the featherweight title which is held by Lee McGregor of Scotland.

Namibian promoter Nestor Tobias, however, said they won't necessarily challenge for a Commonwealth title.

"In boxing it's about opportunities and to get promoters to organise fights, but the purpose of it all is to get a world title fight. So if you can get a Commonwealth title fight and the fight is suitable then why not - it will improve your rating and chances of getting a world title fight. We have fought for the Commonwealth title before and we can do it again," he said.

"But someone like Jeremiah Nakathila - it won't really help him at the level where he is at now. He is now ranked second in the world by the WBO and is aiming for a mandatory fight for the WBO super featherweight title, so the Commonwealth title is not on his agenda now," he said.

Tobias said that Nakathila's next fight against Emmanuel Amos of Tanzania was still on, although they just have to wait to set a new date.

They were supposed to meet in the main fight of the Independence Bonanza on 28 March but since the outbreak of the coronavirus it has been postponed.

"His fight has not been cancelled, it's just postponed and we are just waiting for the situation to become normal again before we decide on a new date. We have already paid the sanctioning fees and appointed the judges so the show will go on," he said.

A victory for Nakathila will give him a great chance to challenge for the WBO world title according to Tobias.

"Nakathila is currently the WBO's second ranked boxer for Jamel Herring's title. The number one ranked boxer, Oscar Valdez has challenged the WBC world champion Miguel Berchelt for his belt so if that fight goes ahead, then Nakathila will become the mandatory challenger for Herring's title. We must just keep him busy and if he wins his next fight hopefully he will get a world title shot," he said.

Mikka Shonena who is due to meet Twaha Kiduku of Tanzania on the same bill, is also highly rated by the WBO - with a current ranking of fourth for Danny Garcia's world title.

Tobias added that Harry Simon Junior's title fight against Jabulani Makhense of South Africa which was due to take place in Johannesburg on 21 March, was also still on. Makhense holds both the WBA Africa and IBF International junior welterweight titles and will defend both against Simon Junior.

"We got a letter from the South African promoter that everything is ready for the fight and we are just waiting to announce a new date," he said.

Tobias said that his boxers are staying fit so that they can be ready when the lockdown is over.

"We are keeping our boxers fit with road work and shadow boxing on the road, while they also do their own training and exercises at home. Our boxers and the whole nation in fact, must just remain positive and support our President. Let's all comply to the lockdown rules, we must all fight together, then we can win this battle," he said.

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