Check out our full interview with Namibia’s premier boxing promoter as he discusses Paulus Moses’ world title shot, the issues with Julius Indongo, the state of Namibia boxing and much more!
Nestor, thank you for taking time out for this interview. On February 16, Paulus Moses will take on Ray Beltran for the vacant WBO lightweight title. Give us your thoughts on this bout.
We are excited about this fight. Yesterday we made an official Namibian announcement of the fight at a packed media conference and the mood was jovial. Namibians are excited, and we are happy for Paulus Moses and it is safe to say that Moses is Namibia’s most successful boxer to date. He was the WBA Lightweight champion 9 years ago, he defended his title twice, then challenged Ricky Burns for the WBO title and lost on points in a very close fight and what an opportunity he has now to salvage his exciting boxing career.
Moses is a few months shy of his 40th birthday. Do you see any signs of him slowing down?
That is the amazing thing about Moses. He surprisingly becomes faster as he ages. I can tell you that he is one of the most committed boxers in the gym. He loves training and boxing is a passion for him. I know that boxing fans can expect a great fight and this will be a classic “age ain’t nothing but a number” display.
How is he looking in the gym? How do you attack a hard-hitting veteran such as Beltran?
Yesterday Moses said that he was born a champion and will die a champion. That is words from a man who wants the title badly. Moses looks sharp and he is ready for Beltran. We take nothing away from Beltran and we know how much this fight means to him, but it means much more to us and Moses and we look forward to an exciting encounter against two experienced boxers.
On the outside, seems as if there has been quite of bit of changes over at MTC. First, can you give us the latest with Julius Indongo?
Well we have shared as much as we can about Indongo. Look some people judge us for his decision to leave and the manner in which he left, but we see things differently. We know what we have done for Indongo and when somebody does that to you, it’s a reflection on them and not on us.
We look to the future with optimism, we are proud of what we have achieved, three world champions so far and the future is looking great for us. We don’t want to waste time talking about those who left but would rather spend time investing in those who are with us. Indongo is water under the bridge and the law will take its course as a matter of principal.
What do you believe is the best-case outcome in resolving this issue? What is the most likely outcome
We believe in dialogue and solving our problems by talking to each other, but when disrespect overrides all that then it is difficult to resolve things amicable. Like we said, we would have been happy to let him go if he communicated that to us because we will never keep a boxer who has their plans. But boxing is a business, we invest in boxers and when they get to this stage they must also not forget where they come from, and the best solution would have been to resolve this amicably, not in the manner in which it was done.
Are your surprised Indongo did this? Or did you sense something might happen?
Of course I am surprised, as I never expected this from such a humble guy, a guy who I had so much respect for. He was still in my gym training when I heard the news, in fact we were discussing his next fight. But I am also well aware that outside influence played a role and it is really a pity.
Do you believe Lou DiBella was aware of any existing contract between yourself and Indongo?
Of course they were aware because this was communicated in writing to Mr. Carter by our lawyers. They however went ahead and signed him knowing that he has a valid contract with us. That is total disrespect, but they think we will let it slide, of course we will not, and we also expect them to do the same if the roles were reversed.
What do you say to those critics who argue that you should just let fighters like Indongo be and allow them to be free? They are essentially saying that you’re holding these fighters’ hostage.
That’s absolute nonsense. Firstly, they must understand the business of boxing, it is like saying invest in something and once your investment bears fruits please pass it on to somebody else and be happy about it. That’s not only crazy but also ridiculous especially in the African context of boxing where fighters bring in nothing, there is no revenue from TV rights and the only time you will only ever have a return on investment in a boxer is when and if they become a world champion.
Lou DiBella has invested absolutely nothing in Indongo. We invested and paid for 23 fights ever since he started his boxing career, now you tell me who is being the thief? With regard to holding boxers hostage, that is insane, boxers enter into contracts which they fully understand and we invest in them on that basis, and they are happy in our camp as can clearly be demonstrated by our track record.
You’ve had several members of your stable leave in recent months, including Paulus Ambunda and Imms Moses. What should the fans know as far as what’s going on at MTC? What is causing these guys to leave and how can it be rectified?
Well the word “several” is an overstatement. Paulus Ambunda has joined another stable, but both me and him know what transpired, but I will not share that with the media because I still hold him in high regard even though I don’t agree with his decision. We have achieved great things together and I wish him all the best. Our long positive relationship will not be destroyed by one thing. As for our Trainer Imms, we ended the relationship with him and for us that’s an internal matter which we will also not discuss. We respect people we used to work with and will not thrash talk them in the media, that is not our style.
What is your relationship like with Salute Boxing Academy?
In our view that of healthy competition. Look Namibia is quite small, and there will always be issues here and there but we maintain respect at all times. Any Namibian boxer that represent us out there is a good ambassador for the country irrespective of which boxing stable they belong to.
You also have some young fighters coming up, such as Sakaria Lukas. What is your plan for him in 2018?
We have exciting talent in our camp and we know that the future is bright for us. We have Sakaria Lukas and Walter Kautondokwa who both remain undefeated and dangerous both highly ranked by the WBO. We have Jeremiah Nakathila in the Jr Lightweight division also highly ranked and an exciting boxer. We have Mike Shonena who recently became the WBO African champion in the Welterweight division. We have the young Harry Simon Jnr looking very promising. We have Immanuel Naidjala heading to Australia to fight for two titles. The list goes on and on and that is the future if Namibian boxing.
Who else should we be on the lookout for?
Whenever you hear the MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing and Fitness Academy have a fight, don’t ever miss it because you know you will see excellent talent.
And finally, what is your outlook for 2018 and MTC?
In February, we want to secure the world title with Moses, then those two titles in Australia, then hopefully finalize a few world title eliminators and create more continental champions and of course continue to be the best we can be, the best Promoter in Africa and the world.