IF KNOCK-OUTS were the only way to decide boxing bouts, many would end in draws, says African Connection Boxing founder Immanuel ‘AC’ Moses.
Instead, boxing is more about out-manoeuvring your opponent than battering them to a pulp.
Moses came out in defence of his unbeaten protege Flaim ‘Special One’ Nangolo, whose power has been questioned.
Only one of Nangolo’s nine fights has not gone the distance – a third-round technical knockout of Gustaf Petrus in their rematch last year.
The 20-year-old followed that up with a hard-fought split decision over David Shinuna on 9 April to retain the national junior lightweight strap, which he won by unanimous decision against veteran Abraham Ndauendapo.
After defending his title, Nangolo, who will again top the AC Rising Stars bill when he faces the first international rival in Ndodana Ncube (8-3) from Zimbabwe on 2 June in Windhoek, said his camp prefers that he entertains rather than go for the kill.
His critics say he lacks power to finish off rivals, like the sturdy Shinuna who claimed the champion feared standing toe to toe with him.
“Some people say he didn’t win by KO. But they forget that whether you win on points or by KO, a win is a win,” Moses said.
“Boxing is not about hurting your opponent. It’s about getting the better of them. You need skill and tactics, KO is a bonus.
“We keep working on his [Nangolo’s] skill and power. He’s still learning and growing as a fighter.”
Nangolo is looking to follow in his uncle Sakaria ‘Desert Storm’ Lukas’ footsteps by defeating Ncube (24).
Returning to the ring after two years on the sidelines, a rusty Lukas stopped the Zimbabwean in the eighth round in their 2019 Harare bout.
Ncube lasted just two rounds against world title-chasing Jeremiah ‘Lowkey’ Nakathila in Windhoek last year before the fight was stopped.
He recovered from that beating with a points win against compatriot Yamikani Mkandawire last month.
“Ncube is a great fighter and he will give Special One a good test. He has fought two tough Namibians before, so he is not an easy opponent,” Moses said.
“Our boxers need these types of fights because we want to make sure they are ready to challenge for international title.
“So, we expect a good show and Special One so he shows what he’s capable of.”
The AC Rising Stars bill also features co-main event Alfeus ‘Mosquito’ Shaanika, whose welterweight opponent is yet to be confirmed. Similarly, Robert Ndalewa and Shinuna are looking for lightweight rivals.
Meanwhile, Hafeni Ngesheya will battle debutant Andreas Endjala in a lightweight clash, Ruaan Raspel takes on Niconor Alweendo in another lightweight bout, Fillipus Amwaama fights Shipahu Deocor at super lightweight, Petrus Salom goes up against Helma John in a featherweight bout while Andreas Johannes and Shikukutu Jona meet at lightweight.