Jon Jon Ndjolonimus and Charles Shinima will be the main attractions at the Independence Together as One Part 9 Boxing Bonanza at the Windhoek Country Club tomorrow evening.
The two Namibian pugilists are both World Boxing Organisation African champions and although they won’t be putting their titles on the line, a lot will still be at stake.
At a press conference in Windhoek yesterday, promoter Nestor Tobias of the MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing Academy said that both fights will be non-title fights.
“There was a lot of push and pull and we had to change the opponents a few times so the WBO has only sanctioned it as non-title fights. But the rules are clear – if any WBO champion is in the ring and he loses the fight he will not be the champion anymore, he will lose his belt and the title will become vacant,” he said.
“These guys are both world rated, Jon Jon is number seven in the world and Charles is number 12, and they have to be active every 120 days. That time has already elapsed, so now they have to fight and I’m happy these fights have been sanctioned as non-title fights by the WBO,” he added.
Ndjolonimus, the WBO Africa super middleweight champion, will now take on Dickson Saidi of Malawi after his original opponent Mbiya Kanku of the DRC could not get his documents cleared in time.
Ndjolonimus, who is still unbeaten after 15 fights, will start as a big favourite against the 31-year-old Malawian, who has a patchy record of seven wins, four losses and one draw.
Ndjolonimus was only informed about his new opponent at yesterday’s press conference, but he was not concerned about the late change.
“My opponent has now changed, I just saw his name now, but his record doesn’t impress me at all – I’ll just keep on winning and keep my title,” he said.
“We tried for a long time, we were training for big things, but that’s how it goes and I’m just happy to be in the ring, so guys come in numbers to witness and enjoy,” he added.
Shinima, the WBO Africa welterweight champion, will come up against Henriques Lando of Angola and he too will start as a strong favourite.
Like Ndjolonimus, Shinima is unbeaten after 15 fights, while Lando has won eight and lost four fights.
Shinima was a bit disappointed that Lando was not present at the press conference, as he only arrived later from the airport.
“My opponent was supposed to be here so that he can listen to what I am saying – I prepared to tell him in his own language so that he understands and gets the message very clearly,” he said.
“But anyway, I’m ready for Saturday night, I prepared very well, and I’m sure I’ll make my weight. Thanks to my camp, my coaches and sparring partners. I believe in myself and I hope all of you guys believe in me – we are ready and we will deliver as usual, team super shine,” he added.
There will be a total of 10 fights, with the other eight all featuring Namibian boxers.
Tickets cost N$200 per person or N$20 000 for a VIP table of 10, and although tickets will also be available at the door, Tobias urged fans to get their tickets soon.
“We are having a special ‘buy one, get one free’ promotion but it will end today, so fans are urged to buy their tickets at webtickets.com.na or at our office in town,” he said.