WINDHOEK – He might have been out of action for a considerable time but that does not dampen the spirits of Namibia’s flamboyant super middleweight boxer and World Boxing Organization (WBO) Africa champion Wilberforce Shihepo, ahead of his eagerly awaited clash against compatriot Johannes “Tito” Mwetupanga.
The much-adored Shihepo has promised to beat the lights out of his opponent when he makes his second title defense against the untested Mwetupanga over 12 rounds at the Windhoek Country Club on Saturday.
The motor-mouth Shihepo boasts a patchy record of 17 wins, six defeats and one draw from 24 bouts since joining the paid ranks, while his opponent enjoys a more respectable record of 11 victories under his belt and three losses from 14 bouts – but the genuine quality of his victims remains open for debate. Still licking his wounds after his surprise defeat against old foe Tommy Hango earlier this year, local boxing sensation and crowd favourite Sackey “Izinyoka” Shikukutu will be out to set things aright when he squares off against the equally hard punching Hango in a rematch for the vacant WBO Africa interim welterweight title over 12 rounds. In the main bout, Imms “Prince” Naindjala will face his sternest test yet when the cat-footed unbeaten pugilist trades leather with Luis Singo from Ecuador in an international bantamweight non-title 10-rounder.
Judging from his somewhat fragile record of 10 losses, 14 wins and 2 draws from 26 fights – Singo should pose very little danger if any for Naindjala. In other action, Peter “The Butcher” Malakia takes on Samuel Kapapu for the vacant national lightweight title over 10 rounds, while Sakaria Lukas and David Egumbo square off in a non-title catch weight four-rounder.
Lightweight debutant Leonard Shemuvalula comes up against fellow rookie opponent Immanuel Andeleke over four rounds with Toivo Mukwendje and Mathias Johannes also in action over four rounds in a non-title junior lightweight bouts. Matheurs Shiimbi and Steven Shimbonde complete the lineup via a low-key non-title four-rounder in the catch weight division.