Namibian boxers struggled to make the grade on the first day of the boxing event at the African Union Sports Council Region Five, under-20 youth games in Gaborone, Botswana, on Monday.
Three Namibians fought in three of the seven bouts.
Flame Nangolo was the first Namibian boxer to be eliminated from the competition when all five judges scored in favour of his opponent, Phomolo Lengola, from Lesotho, after three rounds of boxing.
Nangolo found the going tough as Lengola capitalised on his failure to protect himself throughout the three rounds. In the second round, the Namibian started bleeding from his nose and the referee had to call in a doctor. The teenager, however, continued fighting until the end of the third round. Mateus Mgesheya also lost his fight against Yamikani Ntambo of Malawi.
Mgesheya put up a good fight as he landed worthy shots from the second round to the third, but after three rounds of boxing he lost the fight on a split decision as the judges scored the fight 1-2 in favour of his opponent.
In the last fight of the day, Immanuel Nghilongwa showed determination and character when he faced a more experienced South African, John Masamba, who wanted to knock him out from the first round.
The referee counted Nghilongwa twice in the first round, but on both occasions the Namibia beat the count. In the second round he was again counted, but again he recovered. The Namibian gave his all in the last round, but failed to knock out his opponent despite landing powerful shots.
All five judges scored the fight in Masamba’s favour to end the day on a sad note for Team Namibia. More Namibian fighters were expected in the ring yesterday. – Nampa