WINDHOEK, 27 JUN 2018 – The cancellation of the much-anticipated bout between Harry ‘The Terminator’ Simon and Vikapita ‘Beastmaster’ Meroro was due to the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB)’s failure to sanction the bout, the organisers have said.
In a media conference on Wednesday, promoter Joseph ‘Smokey’ Hilongwa revealed that the NPBWCB had refused to sanction the bout, originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, after requesting that both fighters have three pre-fight weigh-ins.
“In the history of boxing, I have never seen anything like this. The board told us that they will do things differently because of the history of Meroro having struggled or failed to make weight before,” Hilongwa said.
He added that they complied with the board’s request and the boxers did have the weigh-ins, with Simon weighing in at 90.6 kilogrammes (kg) and 92.72kg, while Meroro weighed 102kg and 99.8kg respectively, which is way above the weight required for the fight.
Hilongwa said because the fight is not a title fight or an international fight, the NPBWCB should have allowed the two boxers to fight even if one was 10kg above the required weight.
“When we informed the board of the plans for this fight, they gave us conditions to meet so as for them to sanction the fight. We met all their conditions, even the weird ones. They also kept changing these conditions, including requesting for Simon to do a brain scan, which cost him around N.dollars 22 000,” continued Hilongwa.
He further said when they tried to salvage the fight, the board requested that they nominate three boxers to the board to challenge Simon, which they failed to do at short notice.
They did manage to get Kaminja Ramadhan from Tanzania, who however requested three weeks to prepare for a bout against Simon.
On his part, Meroro expressed great disappointment at the cancellation of the bout, saying the board is lying about him failing to make the weight.
“I can lose 10kg in two weeks. I have never struggled with my weight, ask anyone whom I have worked with. I have always made my weight. Why were we made to weigh-in three times before the fight?” questioned Meroro.
He further accused the Simon camp of chickening out of the bout, asking why they are now offering Ramadhan the fight three weeks from now, instead of giving that chance to him.
Simon, on his part, said he does not understand why the NPBWCB asked them to weigh-in a week or two before the fight.
“I call upon the minister to investigate this. The board has proven to be a stumbling block to boxing. The chairman and Ronald Kurtz even went on to lie that I refused to fight Meroro. How is that possible when I am the one who swallowed my pride and requested to have this fight happen?”
Board Chairman Ellison Hijarunguru referred all questions to their spokesperson, Ronald Kurtz, who was unreachable by the time of going to press.