Energy, Moses top boxing awards

Philippus Nghitumbwa with the boxer of the year award. Photo: Enoke Kaumba

World title aspirant Fillipus ‘Energy’ Nghitumbwa and AC Boxing Academy founder Immanuel ‘AC’ Moses won big at the first Namibia Professional Boxing Awards in Windhoek on Saturday.

The awards reception at the National Theatre of Namibia saw Moses taking home two prizes, the trainer of the year worth N$10 000 and promoter of the year award that came with a N$30 000 cash prize.

An emotional Nghitumbwa, the WBO Africa bantamweight champion, said it was an honour to be the first recipient of the boxer of the year award.

“It’s not easy to win this award with too many boxers in the country, I’m going to work even harder to win it next  year,” he said.

After losing a controversial points decision and WBO Global Super bantamweight to Filipino John Riel Casimero last year, Nghitumbwa has his sights on getting a world championship title.

“When I started boxing, my dream was to become world champion and I’m working hard for that,” he said.

Moses attributed his double victory to hard work, dedication and the dream that he had to start his own boxing establishment.

“If it wasn’t for my discipline and my team, I wouldn’t be here today. When we started we had a vision, we remain humble and I will keep on doing what we have been doing,” Moses said.

Other winners on the night include the legendary Harry Simon, Namibia’s first world champion, who walked away with the N$30 000 chairperson’s award; Moses’ protege Flaim Nangolo, won the prospect of the year award; while the ring official of the year award went to globetrotter Fillemon Mweya; and Lineekela Nghifindaka walked away with the knockout of the year award.

Ex-multiple world champions Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda, Paulus ‘Hitman’ Moses and Julius Indongo, as well as promoters Anita Tjombe and Nestor Tobias, all received special recognition prizes.

Two journalists were also rewarded on the night, with reporter of the year in print going to The Namibian’s Helge Schütz and the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation’s Kavii Zemburuka receiving the digital equivalent.

Boxing board chairperson Meggy Mengo said the awards are meant to encourage those involved in the sport to strive for excellence.

More award categories will be added next year and a number of other initiatives are in the works to upgrade boxing in the country.

“We are looking at [agreements] to bring exchange programmes between promoters, referees and officials, with us and boxing South Africa. We are also working with Angola to help establish professional boxing so that we can have those boxing bonanzas between the countries,” Mengo said.

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