Nghitumbwa has boxing in his grip

• By Michael Uugwanga

NAMIBIA has over the years produced some of the world’s best boxers, and this year another local boxer destined to become a world champion is on everyone’s lips; and that is the exciting and hard-hitting Phillipus Nghitumbwa. 

The pugilist who goes by the nickname ‘Energy’ started fighting professionally in 2016 and is currently under the MTC Nestor Sunshine Tobias Fitness and Boxing Academy, which helped him win the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Global Super-Bantamweight title last year against Innocent Matengu of South Africa.

The hard-hitting gangly Nghitumbwa currently boasts an impressive record of 15 fights; 14 wins and one loss, with the only loss coming against Jonas Matheus.

He got his revenge when he defeated Matheus in a rematch last year.

Nghitumbwa grew up in a village in the northern part of the country, where he was a cattle and goat herder, before moving to Swakopmund for a better life, and finally relocated to Windhoek in 2014.

Boxing icon Mike Tyson and pound-for-pound boxer Canelo Álvarez of Mexico are his boxing idols.

“The love for boxing started when I was in Swakopmund, where I met one guy in the streets of Mondesa that used to go to a boxing gym which I also joined and the rest is history.

“Life is so good to be a boxer right now because had I not been a boxer I would be on the streets doing illegal things like doing drugs and other criminal activities (sic).

“I started getting interested in boxing in 2013 even though before that I used to like Mike Tyson as his name was one of the most talked about names in boxing. But today I can say that Canelo Álvarez is my idol,” said Nghitumbwa.

He is now on the verge of fighting for a world title, but standing in his way for a title shot is Bongani Mahlangu of South Africa, whom he meets on March 22 in Helao Nafidi.

“It is every boxer’s dream to win a world title. He (Mahlangu) is coming to learn a boxing lesson from me,” said Nghitumbwa.

He currently works at Erimo Production but says that boxing has changed his life.

“Like most of boxers we do not have proper education but with boxing I am able to put bread on the table.”

His promoter and trainer Nestor Tobias is convinced that if Nghitumbwa is to get a chance for a world title, he will definitely win it.

“In boxing like any other sport it is about discipline and hard work and you have to understand what you want to achieve. I got him when he only had like one fight. I was advised by my technical team that he is the real deal and he has the hunger. 

“Energy is aggressive, fast, and strong and can knock out anybody. He is one of our top prospects that can bring us a world title. Come next year I want him to become a world champion,” said Tobias.