WINDHOEK, 27 JUN – The Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) has rubbished claims by Harry ‘The Terminator’ Simon and Vikapita ‘Beastmaster’ Meroro that the board sabotaged their fight scheduled for Saturday in Windhoek.
Speaking to Nampa via telephone on Wednesday afternoon, Chairman Ellison Hijarunguru said boxing is a serious sport which has rules and regulations that need to be followed all the time.
“It is disappointing to note that a former undisputed three-time champion in the name of Harry Simon, who should be a proponent of safety in the sport, is quoted by media as being ignorant regarding the rules of the sport. It is a damn shame,” Hijarunguru said, referring to the disputed brain scan requested by the board from 45-year-old Simon.
As for Meroro, the chairperson said the boxer has a known history of taking fights while he is unfit.
“He went to South Africa where he lost to Kevin Lerena and quit the sport. We were contacted by our South African counterparts who questioned us as to why we cleared an unfit boxer for a fight,” said Hijarunguru.
He added that Meroro then went to Russia where again his lack of fitness was exposed.
On the issue of the board requesting the two boxers to have three pre-fight weigh-ins, he said it was standard worldwide for sanctioning bodies to request the boxers to do as many weigh-ins as possible as precaution, especially if it is suspected that the boxers will not make the required weight.
“Our role as a control board is to safeguard the safety of boxers. We are also here to protect and maintain the integrity of the sport and thirdly, we want to protect the fans from bogus players in the boxing industry,” Hijarunguru explained.
He said as a board, they do not want to experience any sort of tragedy during a boxing bout within the borders of the country as they will be sued by family members of these boxers.
Hijarunguru further stated that Meroro had requested the board to allow him to fight at 95 kilogrammes, instead of the mandatory 92.7kg of the Catchweight division.
“I advised him to speak to the promoter (Simon himself) and match maker (Joseph Hilongwa). We are a sanctioning board, not match makers or promoters,” he responded.
He said they were willing to sanction the bout even if the two boxers agreed to fight at 95kg, “a suggestion that Simon had refused to accept”.
With regards to accusations by the two boxers of “personal battles” against them, the chairperson laughed it off, saying the two boxers “must fear God and tell the truth”.
He however congratulated the two camps for being able to follow all the rules in preparing for the bout, noting all the necessary documents and payments were lodged with the board on time, something he said was a first in Namibia.