Namibia: Tobias Spits Venom At Wbo Over Nakathila Fight


Namibia’s leading boxing promoter Nestor Tobias is unhappy with the way the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) has been deliberately sidestepping opportunities to put up a mega fight between local lad Jeremiah ‘Lowkey’ Nakathila and America’s Shakur Stevenson.

Tobias and his protégé Nakathila have for the last couple of months been pushing for a possible interim title fight between the WBO No. 2 ranked Namibian and Stevenson.

The whole issue centres around America’s Jamel Herring and Northern Islander Carl Frampton, who are slated to fight on 27 February, although the bout venue is yet to be established but it is planned to be staged in London, England.

The bout will be a voluntary defence of WBO super featherweight titlist Herring after the WBO gave the green light to the matchup by bending its own rules and made announcements back to back over the last couple of months.

Herring last faced his mandatory challenger in November 2019 when he defeated Lamont Roach Jr over 12 rounds. The WBO granted the champion a voluntary defence once boxing was back on track following the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

That time, in early September last year, Herring defended his belt against Puerto Rican Jonathan Oquendo by way of disqualification in eight frames. According to the WBO, the champion had to face his mandatory in Shakur Stevenson by no later than late January this year, but those plans went Bolivian when Top Rank promotions made sure they wanted to match Herring against Frampton next in another voluntary defence.

Somehow, the WBO agreed to the matchup between Herring and Frampton but made sure the fight needed to take place no later than by the culmination of 2020 in order to be able to please mandatory challenger Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) as soon as possible in the new year and that has since denied Nakathila his opportunity.

“We have always been disappointed and vocal about the two voluntary defences handed to Herring. What is worse is that [Herring vs Frampton] is now postponed until February two months after it was supposed to take place. That means a longer wait for all the other boxers,” said a dismayed Tobias, who has been tirelessly pushing for No. 2 rated Nakathila towards his world title opportunity.

“Herring and Frampton must be really special to the WBO to be accorded such special privileges, but we are done complaining because clearly nobody is listening. We will continue to concentrate on our fighter and hope that he gets a title shot one day. Herring vs Frampton was approved on condition that it takes place in December 2020; that didn’t take place and the right thing would be to call off the fight and sanction Herring vs Stevenson.”

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