Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda could make history by becoming the first- ever Namibian to win boxing titles in three different weight classes when he takes on Muhamad Ridhwan of Singapore on 3 March in a World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Featherweight world title fight.
The fight, scheduled to take place in Singapore, will be the two boxers’ second meeting in six months after they exchanged blows on 29 September in an International Boxing Organisation (IBO) Super-Bantamweight world title fight, which was won by Ambunda after a split decision.
Ambunda is no stranger to the big stage after he won the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Bantamweight world title in 2013 when he defeated Panya Uthok of Thailand through a unanimous decision in Windhoek before he went on to lose the title to Tomoki Kameda of Japan in August of that same year in a bout in the Philippines.
In 2015, Ambunda then went up a division, when he won the IBO Super-Bantamweight world title after dispatching Leandro David Esperante of Argentina in Windhoek.
He, however, lost the title to Moises Flores of Mexico on 11 June in 2016 in Windhoek, six months after he had successfully defended it against Jason Cooper of Australia.
In an interview with the Windhoek Observer this week, Ambunda said he is confident of adding another world title to his name.
If he wins the match against Ridhwan, Ambunda will become the first Namibian to win a WBC world title which has eluded former triple world champion, Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo, who failed on two attempts to win a WBC world crown following defeats to American boxers Terence Crawford and Regis Prograis.
Indongo lost to Crawford in 2017 in a unification fight of which he was then the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA) Super World Super Lightweight champion, while Crawford was defending his WBC and WBO World Super Lightweight titles.
Indongo then had a second chance last year to win the WBC belt, but came short against Prograis.
“I was busy in the gym until the 20th December 2018 when I decided to take a bit of a break to spend the festive season with my family. I resumed training on 1 January 2019,” Ambunda told the Windhoek Observer.
“I am pushing very hard in the gym so that I become the first Namibian to win the WBC world title. It will be an honour to be the first Namibian to win world titles in three different divisions if I happen to win, and I am confident I will win.
“I have good coaches and a conditioning coach that are working hard in rectifying my mistakes that I have made in some fights. I want to be regarded as a legend not only in Namibia, but also in the world,” Ambunda said.
Legendary boxer, Harry ‘Terminator’ Simon, is still regarded as the best boxer ever to come out of Namibia after he became the first local boxer to win a world title when he defeated American Winky Wright in South Africa in 1998 to win the WBO Light-Middleweight world title.
Ambunda, who will turn 39 later this year, still rates his opponent as one of boxing’s finest young talents.
“He (Ridhwan, age 31) is a boxer that also wants to be a champion, but I am not here to praise him. All I can say is that he is still young and I will not underestimate his talent.”
Ambunda has fought 29 times, won 27 and lost twice, while Ridhwan boasts of a record of 11 wins and one loss to Ambunda.