IMMANUEL “Prince” Naidjala returns to the ring after a two year absence when he takes on Jonas Matheus in the ‘Rising Stars of Africa’ bonanza on 4 April, which is being promoted by Immanuel Moses AC Boxing in association with Global Boxing Stars.
Naidjala was once one of Namibia’s hottest prospects and even got a world title shot in 2013 which he lost on points to Tomoki Kameda of Japan, but a string of three defeats in his last three fights forced Naidjala to reassess his career.
“My last three fights really dragged me out, I was really devastated, so I took a long, hard look at myself. I was trying to find out what was wrong and whether I didn’t have the hunger anymore, so I decided to take off from boxing for a while.
“But I continued to train because that’s what I’m used to doing and after a while I thought it would be best to change my gym and manager. I talked to Nestor (Tobias) and got his blessing and then joined Imms (Moses) because he supported me and said he will try to rebuild my career.
Naidjala said he was very excited to get back into the ring.
“I’ve been training a lot and when Imms said he got me a fight I was excited. I think I’ve got the hunger again and I can’t wait to get back into the ring,” he said.
“A lot of people are saying that The Prince is done, but I think a local fight is one of the best fights I can have to bring out the best in me,” he added.
He paid respect to Matheus, saying he would be a tough opponent.
“Jonas is a great fighter and he’s a southpaw so he will bring a lot of challenges to the fight. He always wanted to fight me earlier in our careers, so I’m happy that the fight is now finally on,” he said.
Naidjala, however, didn’t want to make any predictions about the fight or his future career.
“I’m 35 now, so I don’t want to make any empty promises. I’ll just take each fight as it comes, but the hunger is back.”
Despite losing his last three fights, Naidjala still has an impressive record of 23 wins, 5 losses and 1 draw, but he will face a tough opponent in Matheus who has a record of 13 wins and 2 losses, and also represented Namibia at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Matheus’ last defeat came four years ago and since then he has gone on an unbeaten run of eight fights, winning the IBO international bantamweight title along the way.
With both boxers displaying classic boxing styles and quick hands, it should be an enticing encounter that can go either way.
There will be several other exciting fights on the bill, which takes place at the Nampower Convention Centre, including a bantamweight fight between Flame ‘Special One’ Nangolo, who has won his first three fights, and Teofelus Nashilongo who has a record of 1 win, 1 loss and 1 draw.
Another former Namibian Olympian, Matias Hamunyela will take on Salatiel Moses in a flyweight fight over six rounds, while the unbeaten super featherweight Lazarus Shiningwa and super bantamweight, John Shitiitha, will take on opponents still to be announced.
Several other promising lightweight boxers will also be in action, with Andreas Johannes taking on Gerson Veeta, David Shinuna up against Dominikus Edmund; and Sacky Amutja taking on Andreas Nghinananye.
“I am so excited for the next show – we have an excellent fight card that includes former Olympians and my own rising star Flame Nangolo,” promoter Moses said.
“I would like to thank Scott Farrell, the CEO of Global Boxing Stars and Sean Gibbons, the president of Manny Pacquiao promotions again for their support, and my loyal sponsors Mikel Jes, Readi Bites and Meat Market and Roomaif Group,” he added.