Sparks will fly on June 16th when Africa’s two most powerful boxing nations square off.
WBO Africa middleweight champion Walter Kautondokwa (14-0, 13 KO’s) of Namibia and WBO Interim Africa middleweight champion Obodai Sai (32-2, 24 KO’s) of Ghana will settle the score at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra, Ghana. The IBF Africa middleweight title will also be on the line.
BoxingAfrica.com caught up with Kautondokwa he prepares to defend his title in his opponent’s hometown. Read on as he discusses the upcoming showdown and why he’s looking forward to showing his stuff in front of Ghana’s knowledgeable crowd.
Walter, how excited are you for this event versus Obodai Sai?
I am very excited and I take this fight very serious. This will be my first time fighting in Ghana and I am hoping to put on a good show and win in style. I hope that Obodai is ready for me because I am. Ghana here I come!
This will be your first fight outside of Namibia. Are there any concerns on your end?
No concerns at all, just excitement and looking forward to my first win outside of Namibia in my professional boxing career.
How about fighting in his hometown in front of his hometown fans?
That obviously gives him the edge over me and I hope he uses this to his advantage because he will need that and even more. When I enter the ring, it will be just me and him. I just hope that the judges are fair and that they ensure that the best boxer wins on the night and that boxer is me.
Give us your thoughts on Sai as a fighter – have you watched tapes of him?
Yes, we watched a couple of his fights and he seems like an impressive fighter. He will, however, be facing a much better fighter than him. All I can say is that this will be an exciting fight, and even though he will lose, he will walk away a better fighter.
Would you say he is your toughest opponent?
Every opponent is tough. I will, however, tell you once I am done with him. I take no opponent lightly. Sai deserves to be where he is right now because he worked hard. He is the WBO Interim champion and that says a lot about him.
The Ghanaian community has heard much about you and are excited to see you perform. What does a win here do for you?
Firstly, a win protects my current unbeaten record. It hopefully improves my KO record and it wins me new boxing fans in Ghana. I know that boxing is quite big in Ghana and that they built a brand new facility, which says a lot about the passion for the sport. I am excited to give the fans over there my best performance.
You are 32 but only 14 fights into your career. Can you give us some background on why the late start?
I just had a late start to my professional career but I have no regrets. I am happy with the way things have progressed so far and I am looking forward to another great fight.
The winner of this bout takes a big step toward fighting the WBO middleweight champion, Billy Joe Saunders. Given that you got a late start, is there any pressure to quicken the pace toward a world title shot?
I am not particularly in a hurry, but also not going to leap frog towards getting a shot at the world title. This is a very competitive division and getting a shot the world title is difficult but achievable. After this fight, anything can happen. Both me and Sai are currently rated by the WBO and this will be a good and competitive fight that hopefully propels the winner to a much better rating.
There seems to be a growing rivalry between Ghana and Namibia as both are producing excellent fighters. Is that something you sense on your side?
Namibia and Ghana are two passionate boxing countries, and that passion will always be there among the fans which is good as long as it remains healthy. We fight a lot of boxers from Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Ghana and they are all good boxers.
What is it about Namibian fighters that makes them such solid boxers?
I think we are just naturally gifted boxers, born with the potential and of course a very passionate promoter in Nestor Tobias. The fact that we manage to produce world champions after every five years is a good encouragement for us aspiring for that achievement. Having role models train with you makes you believe that that achievement is achievable and tangible and the fact that we have such a strong and passionate sponsor like Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) is a bonus.
Could you provide us a full prediction of how you see the Sai fight going down?
TKO in any round. All you will hear is: And STILL the WBO Africa champion, Walter “Executioner” Kautondokwa!
And in closing, anything you’d like to say to Ghanaian and Namibian fans who are awaiting this showdown?
Let the best man win, I am coming to fight, I am coming to win and I wish my opponent well. I hope the fans come out in their numbers and fill up the venue so that we celebrate the best of African boxing.
Check out our interview with Obodai Sai: https://www.boxingafrica.com/obodai-sai-ghana-boxing-no-competitor-africa