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Salute And Sunshine Shield Boxers

Kiriata Kamanya, Sport minister Agnes Tjongarero, Miss Namibia 2018 Selma Kamanya, Nestor Tobias and John Ekongo. Photo: Henry van Rooi
MTC backed Sunshine and Salute boxing promotions on Thursday combined forces to assist amateur and professional boxers in Windhoek with food and safety items to ease their woes during the Covid-19 lockdown. The boxing houses donated over 200 parcels containing food, hand sanitisers, masks, gloves and personal hygiene products. Boxers who benefited were drawn from a host of boxing establishments and not just from MTC Sunshine and Salute Boxing.

“This is because in a time like this we all have to stand together and assist each other,” said MTC Sunshine Academy founder Nestor Tobias. “Our boxers have lost income due to the lockdown. As promoters we are also cash strapped and we are hoping the Namibia Sports Commission will relieve us so we can continue during the lockdown. Today, we are however sharing the little we have so that Namibian boxers will not go hungry during the lockdown. They are also required to continue training.”

The two promoters have not seen eye to eye recently, but set aside their differences for a common humanitarian cause. The total cost of the food amounts to N$50 000, while the sanitisers and masks came at no cost from Salute Trading.

“We know everyone is under lockdown and not all of us are able to get what we need. So, I called Nestor and asked him if we can work together and help the boxers,” said Kamanya at the handover ceremony at the Independence Arena in Katutura, where the minister of sport, youth and national service, Agnes Tjongarero, was also present.

Kamanya moved to absolve his stable of negligence following Thursday's report about destitute boxer Ruben Kandimba, who is stranded in Windhoek after his fight fell through. Kandimba, who is from Opuwo, was due to fight Japhet Amukwa in a super flyweight bout on 11 April at MTC's Salute Boxing Academy's first tournament of the year before the coronavirus epidemic delivered a devastating KO to all sports events.

While he acknowledged the boxer was set to fight under his promotion, he said they had not neglected the 27-year-old, who claims to have journeyed from his hometown to Windhoek two weeks in advance to “get better training” ahead of his bout. “I spoke to him [Kandimba] today. He was also at the handover. He said he didn't mean for it to sound like it is because of Salute academy that he is in this situation,” Kamanya said.

“We usually bring in fighters from out of town three days before the fight and we cater for all their needs. But he was here before that time. So, please clarify Salute is not mistreating boxers,” Kamanya said.
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