Namibia: Alegator Savours Taste of Success

Martin 'Alegator' Mukungu is proud to be the first national boxing champion from the Kavango East region.

The 23-year-old knocked out Immanuel Jason in the final round of their featherweight title bout during the MTC Sunshine Academy Together As One V bill staged at Walvis Bay on Saturday.

Mukungu (5-1) controlled the fight, but had to fend off Jason (7-4-1), whose awkward style and strong chin meant the fight nearly went the full 10 rounds.

The title is the first of many, he vowed.

"I'm really proud to be the first Kavango to hold a national title. I'm gonna travel to Rundu with this belt on my waist and show them that boxing champions can also come from there," Mukungu said over the weekend.

"I'm the 'Alegator', I'm the new kid who is here to make history. There are bigger titles, and I'm going to put them on my waist," he said.

Rundu native Mukungu had to be patient for his historic moment.

He thought he had won the fight in round two when sending Jason sprawling on the canvas with a right hook.

But the gangly Jason got up and fought back.

Mukungu looked to seal the deal early in the next round, ferociously attacking his rival, who again managed to survive.

Jason made the contest even in the middle rounds, with a big right hand in the sixth, sending Mukungu staggering.

But the eventual winner picked up the pace over the last rounds, keeping Jason at arm's length with a stiff jab backed up by body shots.

"It's a big chance to fight for the national title. They gave me a this opponent, and it was not an easy fight," Mukungu said.

"I wanted to finish him in the second and third round. I dropped him, but he kept coming back.

"In the last round, my coaches told me to go to the body and finish off on the head. That's what I did, and I finished him."

Also tasting success at national level for the first time was Lazarus Namalambo, who outfoxed Andreas Mwenyo to claim the bantamweight strap.

Namalambo (32) employed an impressive defensive effort, stifling Mwenyo's offence while accumulating points with calculated shots.

Not even a point deduction for perceived holding could prevent him from becoming a champion.

"The fight was easy. I just used my experience and capitalised on my opponent's weaknesses. That's the nature of the sport, if everything is in order, you will come out on top," Namalambo said in his native Oshindonga.

"I feel really good. I've been in boxing a long time, and have represented the nation well. I've had many fights, but this was my first title fights. I believe after this I can go for other bigger titles in this division."

On the same bill, Steven 'Cakic' Bagwasi of Botswana delivered a boxing masterclass to see off Sebastianus Natanael in their international featherweight clash.

The Botswana fighter dished out a beating to Natanael, with the Namibian twice kissing the canvas during their 10-rounder.

"My last fight was almost two years ago. I had to work very hard for this fight. I feel relived as to how the fight went. I didn't think this is how I was going to perform," Bagwasi said.

It was his second successive victory on Namibian soil, having previously dispatched of Sakaria Sheehama in similar fashion during his first visit in 2019.

Bagwasi, whose only career defeat was to South Africa's Ayanda Nkosi for the WBA Pan-African lightweight title in 2018, improved to 7-1, with Natanael dropping to 15-4.

"Next year I'll be based in South Africa. I have at least four fights. Hopefully I will be back in Namibia again.

"It's my second time here, and Namibia has always been good to me," Bagwasi said.

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