Gutsy ‘Black Mamba’ falls short

It never rains but pours for Namibia's veteran light heavyweight pugilist Wilberforce Shihepo, aka 'Black Mamba'.

The strongly built Namibian boxer put up one of his best showings in the boxing ring in a long time and can rightfully feel hard done by the referee's shocking decision to abbreviate the contest in the tenth.

Shihepo, 35, lost in the 10th round of his much-talked about title fight against Russian opponent Aleksei Papin for the vacant IBF International Cruiserweight title at the Floyd Mayweather Academy in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday evening.

Shihepo confronted undefeated Papin for the vacant IBF International Cruiserweight title in what many boxing pundits regarded as a lifeline to revive his ailing boxing career, which has been marred by an assortment of ring antics.

The muscular Namibian took the fight to his opponent from the onset and was very much in it but started showing signs of fatigue as the fight progressed.

He landed some good jabs and quick uppercuts in succession but was unable to deliver the sucker punch, which was badly needed if he was to come out victorious as his more streetwise opponent landed more accurate punches to amass valuable points.

A crowd favourite, Shihepo was at some stage ranked Namibia's most deadly fighter and a lethal puncher in the business and is a former WBO Africa Super Middleweight champion.

His patchy record stands at 25 wins and nine defeats out of 34 bouts since joining the paid ranks. His conqueror boasts a remarkable record of nine victories from the same number of fights, with eight of those bouts finishing outside the distance.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia