Namibia boxing decry lack of recognition of sport achievers

 

Lahja Nashuuta

WINDHOEK – Namibia’s WBF welterweight world champion Bethuel ‘Tyson’ Ushona on Thursday expressed concern over lack of corporate sponsorship in local sport saying there is a need for the business sector to meet government half way in awarding and recognizing sportsmen and women.

Ushona told The Southern Times that it is important for the government and the business community to pay tribute to sports men and women for excelling in their respective sports code.

Ushona retained his WBF title after defending it against Roman Belaev of Russia at a boxing bonanza at Ramatex in Windhoek last Friday. Judges scored the 12 rounds bout 117-111, 117-111 and 118-110 in favour of Ushona.

Ushona’s sentiment about rewarding sport achievers was echoed by Nestor Tobias of the MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing and Fitness Academy on Monday. Tobias berated the authorities for not rewarding sportsmen and women including triple world boxing champion Julius Indongo. Indongo is the current IBO, IBF and WBA super lightweight champion.

In August he will face Terrence Crawford of the United States in an undisputed fight that will unify the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO world titles at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Nebraska.

In other countries, such achievements are regarded as national achievements. For instance, Jeff Horn of Australia was honoured with a tickertape parade and handed a key to the city of Brisbane after winning the WBO world welterweight title against Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines on Saturday.

And despite a unanimous defeat in Australia, Pacquiao was given a heroes welcome at home with a military parade.

Meanwhile, Ushona also called on public institutions responsible for sport development like the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service to be driven by people with necessary expertise to contribute to the development sports in the country.

“Most African countries are not doing so well in sports because most of the people assigned to drive the sport sector do not have an understanding on how to manage it.”

The executive chairman of Salute Boxing Academy Kiriat Kamanya has reaffirmed commitment to Ushona, saying they are grooming him for prominent world titles.

He said the academy will also push other boxers who hold national titles like Immanuel Andeleki and Vakulifapo Nashivela to fight for continental and world titles.  “For boxer (Ushona) to be fit, he needs to be busy all the time , so we will keep him active as possible and ready for the next fight to come,” Kamanya said.

He was speaking at a media briefing in Windhoek to update on the recent boxing bonanza in the capital by the Salute Boxing Academy in conjunction with the Khomas Regional Forum of the Nationhood and National Pride Campaign.

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