Namibia’s Paulus “The Rock” Ambunda brings BoxingAfrica.com up to speed with his career in this exclusive one-on-one. The former WBO World bantamweight champion is still going strong at 36, evidenced by his last bout, a close, points defeat to WBA World super bantamweight champ Moises Flores. Ambunda (24-2, 10 KO’s) is itching to get back in the ring – read on as one of Africa’s finest opens up about his time off; this Saturday’s anticipated Rigondeaux-Flores bout; and his intention to tackle the winner.
Paulus, how are things going?
I am doing great. I have not been in the ring since my last fight against WBA Interim Super Bantamweight world champion, Moises Flores, but I am excited about the future.
It’s been a year since we last saw you in the ring – when can we expect you back?
Yes, it has been a while and I am making a comeback very soon. I am in training and feeling great.
What have you been doing during this time?
It was important for me to do a bit of self-reflection after losing to Flores. That was a very tough fight from start to finish. I am in a much better place mentally now and ready to fight again. I used the time to spend time with family and friends and just getting in shape again.
Give us your take on that fight – it was an excellent matchup.
That was one of my greatest fights in my career. Flores is a tough and forward opponent. I had so many slips on the night because the ring was wet and the referee unfortunately counted them as knockdowns which was totally unfortunate. The fight was close, and it could have gone either way, but it was a great experience and I have no regrets.
My style has been good to me so far. I have a very good record and my two losses came against great fighters, Tomoki Kameda and Moises Flores. I will be back stronger and still have a lot to offer the sport of boxing.
Moises is set to face Guillermo Rigondeaux next. Rigondeaux is a strong favorite. Do you think Flores is capable of surprising?
They are both great fighters but with totally different styles which will make the fight interesting. Rigo likes to sit back and wait for that opportunity while Flores comes forward to fight. This fight can go either way and time will tell. I would love to take on the winner of this fight if the opportunity presents itself.
You’ve won a world title, have many wonderful amateur accomplishments and enjoyed a fine career. What motivates you to keep fighting, especially against this high level of opponents?
My passion for the sport keeps me going and just seeing other fighters following in our footsteps to accomplish their dreams. I am so proud of my colleague, Julius Indongo, for making us all proud. It took me years to get to this level and the fans deserve to see more of me – this is my level.
What goals would you like to accomplish before you hang them up?
I definitely want to get another shot at the world title. I am rated in three different sanctioning bodies and another great fight against a top opponent is just what I am looking for. And of course, grab a third world title.
Anything in closing you want to say to fight fans around the world?
I appreciate the support. The sport of boxing is forever growing with great fights every month and a shout out to boxing fans across the great African continent.