Local Broadcasters’ Reluctance Handicaps Boxing Development

Namibia’s leading boxing promoter, Nestor “Sunshine” Tobias, has once again raised concern over the reluctance of local broadcasters to play their part in the development of professional boxing.

Television channels such as HBO, Showtimes, Sky and other stations internationally are prepared to part with millions of dollars to boxing promoters for the live broadcasts.

He is adamant the bigger the TV revenue, the better it is for world bodies and local sanctioning commissions since they can also benefit immensely through increased sanction fees, which is usually part of the total budget.

“Despite the fact that we are able to stage classic bouts, the world bodies look at three critical considerations, (1) world rankings, (2) quality of previous opponents and (3) whether the fighter has existing TV rights deals,” adds Tobias.

“We comply with number one and two but, unfortunately, our local circumstances don’t allow us to have mega-million TV deals for our boxers. Should the status quo remain, the current scenario will forever weigh against us but we will not allow that to deter us from realising our dreams.”

Contrary to public opinion, Tobias has in the meantime commended his boxers and believes they had a very good season. “We are looking forward to retain the national and international titles with boxers like Prince Naidjala, Tyson Ushona, Force Shihepo, Izinyoka Shikukutu while we will also push to lay our hands on new titles.”

He says despite the fact that we suffered two major upsets, with both Ushona and Naidjala conceding their international titles, the academy is looking to the future with renewed strength and confidence.

“Our objective is to get our boxers stake a challenge for at least two world title bouts this year, and these fights might most likely be away fights, as the current champions are not likely to accept fights away from their homes.

“Paulus Moses, Paulus Ambunda and Vikapita Meroro are still holed up comfortably in the top 5 of their respective divisions and we will go all out to ensure they get challenge for the world titles this year.”

Tobias is confident that with quality and young prospects coming through the succession plan led by the “Silent Assassin” Mike Shonena, Walter Executioner Kautondokwa, Sakaria “Desert Storm” Lukas, Nathaniel Kamati, and Jeremiah Nakathila, his stable has what it takes to claim its glory days.

“We will achieve that feat and the world will salute us once again for our bravery and excellence in world boxing. Furthermore, I would like to applaud our principal sponsor MTC for its continued commitment towards boxing and, of course, also thank the boxing fans who continue to support us.”

Source : New Era