Simon/Thobela fight hangs in the balance

By Michael Uugwanga

HARRY Simon remains in the dark over his potential fight against South Africa’s retired boxer Dingaan Thobela, with the two old boxers scheduled to fight each other on 14 December in Windhoek at a venue yet to be confirmed.

Simon, age 46, last fought Kaminja Ramadhan Shabani of Tanzania in Windhoek in November last year, while Thobela last fought in 2006 when he lost a fight to fellow South African retired boxer Soon Botes in 2006, which was also the year Thobela hung up his gloves.

Thobela, 53, could risk his life against Simon who showed his class against Shabani in his last fight when he sent Shabani to the ground in the first round.

Simon boasts a record of 31 wins from 31 fights, while Thobela has 56 bouts to his name, winning 40, losing 14 and drawing two in the process in a career that spanned 1986 to 2006.

In an interview with Confidente this week, Simon said he is still unsure whether the fight between him and Thobela would materialise, but was continuing to spend time in the gym preparing for the fight.

The outspoken Simon, a former two-time world champion in the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Super Welterweight and Middleweight division is still waiting for feedback from the two promoters of the fight, Kamanya Kiriata of Salute Boxing Academy and Nestor Tobias of Sunshine Tobias Fitness and Boxing Academy.

The Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) is yet to receive information about such a fight.

Thobela is one of the world’s most decorated boxers of all time. He held the WBO Lightweight, World Boxing Association (WBA) Lightweight, World Boxing Federation (WBF) Middleweight and the World Boxing Council (WBC) Super-Middleweight title.

“That is a good question that you are asking me if the fight will still go ahead. I am just training as we are speaking now because it is something I have been doing, but I still do not understand why KK (Kiriata Kamanya) did not get back to me as he and Nestor (Tobias) are promoting the fight.

“The funny part about Nestor is that he apparently wrote a letter to the boxing board to ask them how he can promote the fight, while he has been a promoter for many years. I am still waiting for an answer,” said Simon.

It may  prove difficult for Thobela to get a licence from Boxing South Africa (BSA), due to his long absence from boxing unless he applies for a boxing licence in other countries. “Dingaan (Thobela) told me that he got a licence from another country. I also had different boxing licences, such as from UK, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria,” Simon said.   

Kiriata said he is still busy working on the fight but could not go into details. “I am still working on it,” he briefly told Confidente. Meanwhile, a spokesperson of NPBWCB said they were not aware of the planned Simon/Thobela fight.