Simon Jr hits back at critics after ‘sluggish’ fight

By Michael Uugwanga

HARRY Simon Jr has hit back at critics following his sluggish performance against his former mentor Rafael Iita at the MTC Nestor Sunshine Tobias Fitness and Boxing Academy’s first boxing bonanza of the year held at the Windhoek Country Club on November 7, saying the criticism stemmed from people who did not understand boxing.

Simon Jr was fighting against his pal Iita who was his motivator during their amateur years and last Saturday’s fight was labelled a mere exhibition fight between two friends who appeared as if they were shying away from hurting each other.

Despite the lukewarm showing, Simon Jr won the fight and now has a record of 12 fights -12 wins.

Simon Jr (23) was fighting for a non-title bout in the junior-welterweight division that was scheduled for four rounds against Iita (31) under closed doors due to Covid-19 pandemic.

He is under the wings of renowned promoter Nestor Tobias, and is already regarded as a future world champion just like his legendary father Harry ‘Terminator’ Simon who is the unbeaten former World Boxing Organisation (WBO) middleweight champion.

Speaking to Confidente Sports Desk about the fight, which received lots of criticism on social media in particular on the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Facebook page, Simon Jr contributed his lackluster performance to his fitness level.

“Nothing really went wrong in the fight against Iita. Remember that we had a long lay-off as I last fought in November 2019 (against Limbani Chikapa of Malawi).  I just wanted to finish my rounds.  It was all about getting a win. It is also about respect towards Iita as he was my motivator during my amateur years but that had no influence on the fight.

“Some people do not understand boxing. I knew I was winning already because Iita was not landing punches,” he said.

Simon Jr is set to make a return inside the ring in early December in a fight which could have a big significance on his boxing career.

“I am just waiting for my promoter (Tobias) about the next fight which he told me will be a big fight in the first week of December. It is an honour to be promoted by him as he has produced world champions. I am surrounded by a great coaching staff and by top rated boxers such as Jeremiah Low-key Nakathila who is rated number three in the world and Mikka Shonena who is ranked fifth in the world. My aim for next year is to fight against top ranked boxers and to fight for world titles”.

Below are the full results of the boxing bonanza:

Phillipus beat Gerson Vaeta, Sebastian Nathaniel beat Dominicus Weyulu, Paulus Amavila drew against Eslon Kalus, Michael Bernard beat Frans Naanda, Uskos Rehabiam beat Festus Mathias, Charles Shinena beat Steven Shimbonde, Phillipus Nghitumbwa beat Martin Mukungu, Mikka Shonena beat Mendu Kaangundue and Jeremiah Nakathila beat Immanuel Andeleki.