Last month promoter and trainer Nestor Tobias named his top 10 Namibian boxers of all time and this time he lists the country’s top 10 prospects.
In boxing, the term prospect refers to an upcoming boxer that has the potential to become a star in the sport.
Key to the boxer realising that potential depends on how well he is nurtured and trained, but they must also demonstrate signs of ambition and commitment to go with their natural skills set.
Tobias believes the future of Namibian boxing is bright if the following prospects, listed in no particular order, deliver on their early promise.
Harry Simon Jr (11-0)
Unbeaten after 11 fights, junior welterweight Simon Jr is looking to write his own chapter in Namibian boxing history. The son of legendary former world champion Harry Simon, his performances have been excellent so far, showing great boxing IQ, ability and desire.
Barely out of his teens, Simon Jr is growing powerful with every passing fight and has all the signs of a world class fighter.
Simon Jr is set to fight for the WBA Pan African and IBF International titles in South Africa, showing that he is making a name for himself already and creating his own path to greatness. He fights under the MTC Sunshine Promotions stable.
Philippe ‘Energy’ Nghitumbwa (9-8-1)
The super bantamweight division power fighter is a joy to watch. The MTC Sunshine Promotions product loves to exchange and engage and that’s where he got his nickname from.
If you want to see power and stamina on display you must watch him fight. He has one highly controversial loss which should never have been on his record. But, he is ready to fight for a continental title and he is definitely going to make a mark in the division and we hope the world is ready for him.
Paulus ‘John John’ Paulinus (11-0)
An imposing figure, Paulinus competes in the middleweight division but looks like a cruiserweight. The 32-year-old can fight from the outside and inside and with his power, we expect him to go far.
He was meant to have fought for a continental title already but has been unlucky because three of his last opponents failed their medicals. He is highly disciplined and will with no doubt make a name for himself and Namibian boxing on the world stage. He fights under the MTC Sunshine Promotions.
Charles Shinima (10-0)
Although he did not do too well in the amateur ranks, a re-energised Shinima is turning on the style as a pro. The Mandongo Boxing Gym fighter’s main attribute is devastating punching power which is a major asset in the junior middleweight division. A disciplined fighter, the sky is the limit for him if he remains focused and hungry. Shinima is certainly ready to fight for a continental title.
Fillemon Nghitenanye (5-0)
Nghitenanye has a unique combination of good boxing skills and IQ to make it in the junior bantamweight division. He is a natural southpaw but can switch to orthodox to outmanoeuvre his rivals which is rare in any boxer. His confidence in the ring will certainly take him places. He fights out of Metumbo Boxing Gym in Swakopmund.
Martin Mukungu (6-0)
Bantamweight division campaigner Mukungu is not a big puncher, but the 20-year-old makes up for his shortcoming with great boxing IQ and enviable footwork. He is smart and has the ability to switch from southpaw to orthodox. While he can build his power as he matures, he beats opponents just by outsmarting them. He fights under MTC Salute Boxing Promotions’ banner.
Philip Shanika (5-0)
Philip competes in the super bantamweight division. He has a good reach and has incredible power in both hands, while his scything uppercut makes him a dangerous fighter. He has improved a lot with his jab and setting up punches which he lacked before. He fights under the MTC Sunshine Promotions.
Michael Bernhard (7-0)
Former welterweight Bernhard is making his mark at lightweight. He is a good boxer with great strength. He has been improving gradually and combines raw power with good boxing intelligence. He fights out of MTC Kilimandjaro Boxing Promotions.
Lazarus Shaaningwa (6-0)
Shaaningwa is building a reputation as a good amateur and national champion in the junior lightweight division. A southpaw but can switch which makes him tricky and dangerous. He is undefeated with six wins from six fights. He fights under the MTC Salute Boxing Promotions.
Flame Nangolo (3-0)
Boxing runs through Nangolo’s veins given he is former WBA lightweight world champion Paulus ‘The Hitman’ Moses nephew. He has a natural love for boxing and has been training since he was very young. He is smart, manages the ring very well and will definitely become a world beater if he continues with this trend. Nangolo is a very gifted boxer who blends his natural abilities with a high work rate. He is on the books of AC Boxing and Fitness Gym.
Paulus Amavila, Nathanael Heita, Abed Shikongo and Sam Mathews all deserve special mention because they also have great potential if they continue to work hard.