Prince eyes IBF crownBy: SHEEFENI NIKODEMUS
WINNING the IBF International bantamweight title tonight is all part of Immanuel ‘Prince’ Naidjala’s grand ambition of reigning supreme in his weight class world over.
The fight against Botswana’s Lesley Sekotswe is Naidjala’s biggest to date, and the fighter, who also holds the WBO Africa bantamweight strap, intends to add the IBF belt and maintain his momentum towards the summit of world boxing.
“It’s a big motivation to be fighting for important titles like this one. For me it’s a big milestone ‘cause when I turned professional three or four years ago, I didn’t think I will be this far so quickly,” Naidjala told The Namibian Sport yesterday.
“I’m going to do it for the whole team. I want to rule the bantamweight division. I want to make my supporters happy.”
A vociferous home support is one of two crucial factors in Naidjala’s favour at the Windhoek Country Club tonight. The other is his superior record, which reads 16 wins and no losses whereas Sekotse , a teacher by profession, has 10 wins and a draw from 11 fights.
But Naidjala said he would not take his rival, who regularly fought in Namibia as an amateur, for granted.
“It will be a local derby. I’m prepared and ready for any style that he might bring. One of our records will be damaged but I know it won’t be mine. If he makes any mistakes I will take him out,” said Naidjala.
Sekotse said he felt at home in Namibia and would not be intimidated by a hostile reception.
“I have fought in Namibia before – I have a good record here and I will do my best. My record speaks for itself. He also has a good record so it will be a good fight for boxing fans,” he said.
In the main supporting bout Sacky Shikukutu is set to defend his Interim WBO Africa welterweight title against Ezaya Chilufya of Zambia over 12 rounds.
Shikukutu has a record of 14 wins, two losses and a draw, while Chilufya’s record is eight wins, a draw and a loss.
Namibia’s former WBO Africa lightweight champion Martin Haikali (15f, 10w, 5l) returns back to the ring for the first time over a year and will take on Nelson Banda of Zambia (8f, 6w, 1d, 1l) in an international lightweight fight over six rounds.
WBO Africa junior welterweight champion Ruben Indongo, who is unbeaten after 13 fights, takes on Abias Silupumbwe of Zambia (4f, 2w, 2l) in a non title fight over 6 rounds.
Another Namibia’s WBO Africa title-holders Abmerk Shidjuu (17f, 12w, 3l, 2d) will fight Pathias Chisenga (2f, 1w, 1l) from Zambia in a flyweight non-title fight over eight rounds.
Sakaria Lukas (6f, 6w) and Fidelis Lupupa (4f, 3w, 1l) will contest a featherweight bout, while another bantamweight fight over four rounds will feature Onesmus Nekundi (1f, 1w) versus Nathaneal Kamati (1f, 1w).
Immanuel Andreki (3f, 2w, 1l) and Lazarus Namalambo (3f, 2w, 1l) will do battle in a junior lightweight fight over four rounds in the evening’s other fight.
The Boxing Bonanza will starts at 18h00 and the entrance fee is N$100 per person.