The long wait for heavyweight glory
After perusing the list of Namibian boxers, who have won world titles after independence, it became glaringly obvious that the country is yet to produce a heavyweight world champion.
Harry Simon won the middleweight world title, while Paulus ‘Hitman’ Moses won the lightweight crown.
Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda is a former bantamweight and super bantamweight world title holder.
However, it is in the heavyweight division that Namibians have failed to impress in on the global stage.
Many probably thought over the years that guys like Wilberforce Shihepo, Vikapita Merero and Joseph Tito were great heavyweight prospects.
I also thought so, when I was just a budding young sports journalist.
I also thought that perhaps Simon could finally bring home the bacon in the heavyweight division, but alas, it does not seem that it will happen.
Where will Namibia find and nurture its great heavyweight fighters?
I started visiting gyms recently in my quest to scout for potential heavyweight champions that could set the world on fire within the next two years.
My search so far has not given me any hope that we may just have a Wladimir Klitschko or a George Foreman in Namibia.
We seem to be challenged in terms of size, as most of our boxers do not grow into heavyweights. Perhaps this is because of genes?
The few I have seen, who could have been potential heavyweight champs, prefer doing something else in life, rather than taking on boxing as a profession.
Although welterweight pugilists Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have recently kept the boxing world abuzz, the heavyweight division has been the mainstay in terms of producing memorable boxers and bouts over the years.
I believe that despite the challenges we have, in terms of the size of our boxers, we could still produce a world heavyweight champion.
First, we need to obviously scout what potential there is out there, and then we need to place them into the right environment to thrive, including the proper gym and training regime.
There are obviously other issues like the correct nutrition from a young age that needs to be addressed, if we want to have global success in this category.
No one doubts the strength and bravery of Namibians, and it will be a worthwhile exercise for us to actively pursue greatness in the heavyweight division.
A key component will obviously be discipline. The reason why many boxers do not fulfil their potential is because of what they do or get involved in outside the ring.
In Namibia’s case our heavyweights have often become embroiled in shenanigans that have nothing to do with boxing, and this could be a major reason why they have not progressed to the heights to which they promised to soar to.
Therefore, it will be important to instil a sense of destiny and desire, so that discipline becomes a way of life, in and outside the ring.
I believe this will be key in producing local boxers that will finally take the heavyweight ranks by storm.
In the absence of this, we are destined to have a very, very lengthy wait, before we see a Namibian tie a heavyweight world title belt around his waist.
Right now, the division is looking for a new Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson, and there is no reason why the new superstar of heavyweight boxing cannot be a Namibian!