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Hijarunguru Must Fall - Promoters

UNITED: Kinda Nangolo (left), Anita Tjombe and Nestor Tobias have teamed up in an attempt to send Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board chairperson Elison Hiarunguru packing. PHOTO: Jesse Jackson Kauraisa.
Three Namibian boxing promoters yesterday demanded the immediate resignation of Namibia Professional Wrestling and Boxing Control Board chairperson Ellison Hijarunguru.

Nestor ''Sunshine'' Tobias, Anita Tjombe and Kinda Nangolo accused Hijarunguru of leading the boxing board into the doldrums since his appointment three months ago. At a joint press conference in Windhoek, the promoters alleged that Hijarunguru was trying to settle old scores with officials.

They also accused him of favouring certain boxing promotions while dragging his feet on others. The three promoters charged that the chairperson is creating his own rules and introducing new rules that are not in line with the Boxing Act of 1980. Iron Lady Promotions owner Anita Tjombe said: “We know of instances where promoters went ahead with their fights even when sanctioning money had not been paid. However, some of us are not getting those privileges.

“He also claimed not to have witnessed an incident where WBF president Howard Goldberg was physically assaulted even when there was clear evidence in video footage.” Tjombe expressed disappointment that her boxing bonanza scheduled for last month was cancelled after the boxing board refused to sanction it. The ''Iron lady'' had received sponsorship from Namibia Breweries Limited to stage the event.

NBL withdrew the sponsorship yesterday following her technical hitches with the boxing board. Kinda Nangolo of the Kinda Promotions claimed that Hijarunguruhad changed the system in a negative way. The promoter said Hijarunguru allegedly wrote a letter to the control board office administrator in which he questioned why Nangolo had held a press conference at the board''s offices.

Nangolo claimed that the former board never had a problem with them holding press conferences at the board''s offices. “The board is also refusing to sanction my next boxing event and threatening to suspend my licence because I apparently owe them N$25 000.

“The pervious board under which Hijarunguru served as an official owes me over N$75 000 and now they want to suspend me because of N$25 000. “I think it is time that Hijarunguru resigns before he puts the boxing control board into further disrepute,” Nangolo said at the conference.

Nestor Tobias of the MTC Nestor ''Sunshine'' Tobias Boxing and Fitness Academy expressed concern about the way things have changed since the appointment of the board chairperson. “We all know that boxing is an expensive sport and promoters in most instances struggle till the last month to make things happen. “Now we are being asked to pay for sanction money two weeks before the bout, which is proving very difficult.

“If this is a new rule of the board, we will not be able to stage professional fights in Namibia anymore and without promoters the board will not exist either. “Hijarunguru is a very angry man for whatever reason, which makes it difficult for us to communicate,” Tobias said. Tobias further blasted the board for operating under an outdated Boxing Act of 1980.

He believes that the Act has no relevance to boxing today, and therefore the board is forced to implement things outside the Act. “The Act prohibits women from boxing, and promoters are not paying the actual 6% we are required to pay from the money we make at events, but we end up paying over that percentage,” Tobias added.

Three weeks ago, a weekly newspaper quoted Hijarunguru as saying that there were “forces combining to bring him down”. Hijarunguru could not be reached for comment.

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