I can’t be compared to my father – Simon Jr

By Michael Uugwanga

HIS father is still regarded as one of the world’s best boxers of all-time, but Harry Simon Jr says it is unfair to be compared to his father, Harry ‘The Terminator’ Simon, after winning his 10th straight professional bout last Saturday.

He defeated Malawian boxer Limbani Chipaka, courtesy of a technical knockout in their Junior Lightweight boxing match at the Windhoek Country Club.

Simon Jr’s fight was one of the undercards in the main fight between Jeremiah Low-Key Nakathila and Zimbabwean boxer Peter Pambeni for the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Global Junior Lightweight title, which Nakathila won.

His father Simon is undefeated in 31 fights and is a two-weight world champion, having held the WBO junior middleweight title from 1998 to 2001, and the WBO middleweight title in 2002. Simon Jr (21) in turn is a former Namibian Junior Welterweight national title holder and is already tipped to follow in the footsteps of his dad, but he said comparing him to his father is unfair, as he regards his father to be  on a different level as a boxer.

Speaking to Confidente Sport, following his victory against Chipaka (22) with a record of 14 fights, nine wins and five loses heading into the fight, Simon Jr said no other boxer in the world can match his father’s legacy.

“My father’s record speaks for itself. I cannot be compared to him and no other Namibian boxer can be compared to him, to be honest,” said Simon Jr when asked if he has finally stepped into the shoes of his father.

Simon Jr’s boxing progress is said to be in good hands as he is well managed by the country’s top promoter and trainer, Nestor Tobias of MTC Nestor Sunshine Tobias Boxing & Fitness Academy.

The Sunshine Boxing Academy is home to many talented boxers, such as Nakathila, Mikka Shonena, and Walter Kautondokwa, to mention a few.

“After this victory I am hoping to fight for the youth world title as I’m just patiently waiting to see what plans my promoter has for me in store for next year. I do my sparring with Low-Key (Nakathila), everyday and he is one of the reasons I have grown more as a boxer, as he punches harder than you think and his blows in sparring made me more like a man.

“He also helps me a lot with my defence as well. Trust me, he is Namibia’s next world champion. Other than my dad he is my role model. My other role model is Terence Crawford, as he is the face of boxing and I try to mimic him,” He said.

“MTC Sunshine Academy brought out the best in me and I keep on developing every day and it also has the best atmosphere, great coaching team. I also train alongside Shonena and Kautondokwa, which motivates me a lot. The fight against Chipaka was by far my best fight, but I was really not that satisfied with my performance as I always set my standards way too high. I thought I could have done better.”

Simon Jr’s father represented Namibia at the Olympics Games in Barcelona, Spain, but did not win any medal at the Games.

Simon however, won a gold medal for Namibia at the 1991 All-Africa Games in Cairo, Egypt in the Welterweight division.

“At amateur boxing there was always favouritism. I have won some national championships but I barely got noticed since I was 17. But when I did get called up for the national team is when I decided to turn professional and now I am representing myself and my country at the professional level, which was always my childhood dream,” said Simon Jr.

As he continues to progress, Simon Jr could find himself fighting for a world title sooner than later.

“There are guys in divisions which I want to fight, such as Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor and Jose Carlos Ramirez, who are all current champions. And to be a champion you have to beat champions and that is every boxer’s dream.

“Hopefully I will get that chance. Indeed, I am the future of boxing as I am still young and improving every day. I have the best promoter (Tobias) in Africa and have the best trainers. In due course I will be the face of boxing and I can also say that boxing in Namibia is in very good hands,” Simon Jr remarked.