Boxer Johannes ‘The Weapon 777’ Gabriel has been accused of conning sympathizers out of their hard earned cash by misrepresenting that he needs financial assistance to stage a fightGabriel’s latest victim,
Menardo Shapua, gave him N$2,000 last week when he allegedly lied that he wanted to market an upcoming World Boxing Federation (WBF) Lightweight Africa title against South African Koos Sibiya in Zambia this Friday.
Gabriel, who claimed to be a cousin of former world champion Paulus Ambunda, also told the Windhoek Observer that he is going to fight Sibiya in Lusaka, although he could not reveal the name of his promoter.
“My father and Ambunda’s father are brothers, but I changed my surname from Ambunda to Gabriel due to business and I cannot explain to you the reasons. I turned professional in 2011,” Gabriel said.
Shapua told the Windhoek Observer that he only became aware of Gabriel’s tricks when boxing promoter, Anita Tjombe, advised him to ask for proof of the fight before helping the boxer financially.
Shapua also said Gabriel asked for N$5,000 last week for a blood test prior to this weekend’s alleged fight.
“After Tjombe saw a picture of me and Gabriel with the belt that he was going to fight in Zambia, she immediately called me to find out about the fight,” Shapua said.
“She then told me that he must show me the contract. After I told Gabriel that Tjombe called me, he told me that Tjombe is just jealous of him.
“First, Gabriel asked me for N$5,000 for his blood test that was apparently going to be carried out at a private clinic. When I asked him why at a private clinic and not at the state hospital where it is cheaper, he later changed his mind and asked me to give him money to market his upcoming fight, but I told him that I do not have that money after I started to suspect that something was not right.
“I have so far given Gabriel N$2,000 after he told me that the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) was going to pay for his flight tickets to Zambia. I do not know much about boxing, but I was surprised when I saw him drinking alcohol.
“All I know is that boxers do not drink alcohol a month before a fight. Whenever I ask him to bring back my money, he always says that he will get back to me.”
Shapua said he will not open a case with the police against Gabriel because the money “is just little”.
Gabriel was reportedly arrested in 2016 for a similar offence and is currently out on bail.
Tjombe told the Windhoek Observer that he is no longer with Gabriel because he was never honest with her.
“Do you know that he (Gabriel) was in prison because of fraud? I wanted to help him to go fight in Zimbabwe this month, but I did not because he is not honest,” Tjombe said.
Early this year, Gabriel was training with African Connection (AC) Boxing and Fitness Academy, owned by Immanuel ‘Imms’ Moses who told the Windhoek Observer that he has not seen the boxer for more than a month.
“Yes, he used to train at my gym. About his fight in Zambia, you must ask him,” Moses said.
A fuming Ambunda admitted that he is cousin to Gabriel, whom he described as stupid and a conman.
“Yes, we are cousins, but this boy is very stupid. He goes around swindling people. You are not the first person to ask me about it. Even at Virgin Active Gym he has given people my number so that they contact me. He was even chased away by Imms at AC gym. The boy was even in prison,” Ambunda said.
When the Windhoek Observer asked the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) to explain Gabriel’s boxing record, office administrator, Jan van Wyk, labeled Gabriel a liar.
“All I can remember is his fight in Outapi some few years ago. He is a liar. He is no longer a boxer. Are you aware that he was in prison because of lying?” van Wyk said.
Former NPBWCB, chief administrator, Joe Kaperu said that all he can remember is that Gabriel has fought less than five times.
“He has fought not more than five times and has lost twice. I am no longer in the office to give you his records,” Kaperu said.