Former Welwitschias flanker, Dian Gene Wiese, has traded his rugby boots for boxing gloves and has set his sights on becoming a national and Commonwealth champion.
Wiese (24) began his amateur boxing career in 2015 after he was dropped out of the Namibian rugby squad that participated at the World Cup in England even though he was part of the Welwitschias team that played at the 2014 Africa World Cup qualifiers tournament in Madagascar under then coach, Danie Vermeulen.
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer recently, Wiese vowed never to play international rugby again, after the decision to drop him from the Namibian team left him ‘sad’.
“I am still playing rugby for Wanderers, but in the first division because I do not want to play professional rugby (national team) after I was not selected to represent Namibia at the World Cup,” said Wiese who played eight test matches for the rugby national team.
He said his short-term goal in boxing is to take part in the boxing national championships later this year, while his long-term goal is to represent Namibia at the next Commonwealth Games in 2022.
“I still have lots of work to do to fulfill my dream,” Wiese said.
He, however, might be on his way to achieving his dreams after he beat Faruiko Kakololo in a heavyweight class amateur bout that was hosted by 12 Rounds Boxing Club last Friday in PioneersPark at the Deo Gloria Centre.
Wiese was on top of his game as he made light work of his opponent who threw in the towel in the second round of their scheduled three round fight.
Meanwhile, one of the country’s finest female boxers, Miriam Nghilongwa from Salute Boxing Academy, defeated Iris Rodriques of 12 Rounds Boxing Club during Friday’s tournament.
Rodriques dominated the fight in the first round before Nghilongwa showed her class in the second and third rounds of their scheduled three rounds match to emerge victorious.
“In the first round I was confused because Rodriques was fighting well before my coach told me to throw more punches forward. I also underestimated her at first,” Nghilongwa said after the match.
The promising athlete started boxing in 2016, but has been struggling to get fights due to lack of opponents.
“I would want private companies to come on board and sponsor women boxing because we have a lot of female talent in the country,” Nghilongwa said.
Nathaniel Kakololo, the World Boxing Federation (WBF) International featherweight champion, promised to donate boxing shoes to Nghilongwa.
CAPTION: Dian Gene Wiese in action against Faruiko Kakololo.