Namibia boxing legend and former two-time world champion Harry Simon says there was little Julius Indongo could have done to free himself from the jaws of defeat last Friday.
Fighting at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, Indongo, the former unified 140-pound world champion, was a pale shadow of his former self as he succumbed to a well-composed Yeleussinov in their IBF inter-continental welterweight title fight.
For the 37-year-old Indongo, Friday’s loss marked a third career stoppage defeat. The Namibian was also stopped in consecutive fights by Americans Terence Crawford and Regis Prograis in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Indongo appeared out of tune, ill-prepared and was physically nowhere near the form of the hard-jabbing Yeleussinov, who took control of the fight from the onset and covered much of the ground in the opening round.
Indongo started the second round as poorly as he did in the first, avoiding toe-to-toe action with Yeleussinov and constantly failing to follow up on his jabs. The veteran Namibian, despite having only three losses from 23 professional fights on his CV, appears no longer fit to compete at a high level.
The 29-year-old Yeleussinov, who only turned professional two years ago, made Indongo look like a novice, as he kept the much-older Namibian running for safety for the better part of their short-lived bout.
Simon, Namibia’s first ever two-time world champion, admitted that Indongo performed below expectation.
“I think people don’t like hearing the truth but Julius did what he could and he tried his level best to put up a good fight but the truth is that Yeleussinov was a better boxer on the night than Indongo,” said the 48-year-old Simon.
“That’s the honest truth.”
Also reflecting on Indongo’s dismal performance, Namibia’s super featherweight boxer Jeremiah “Lowkey” Nakathila said the “Blue Machine” loss can be attributed to various factors.
“There are so many factors that may have caused him to suffer such a defeat. I will be honest; I used to train with Indongo at the same gym – and if you look at his body shape before and compared it to now, you’ll realize the change,” Nakathila pointed out.
“This guy’s body was fit back in the days but if you look at him now he doesn’t even have six-packs on him, which can tell you he’s maybe not training that well. And also, I think Indongo was not in his right state of mind, because that also plays a huge role in winning a fight. I think he was not in his right mindset when he fought on Friday. But I spoke to him after the fight and all he was saying is that the bout was a bit tough.”