By Ron Jackson
The exciting young bantamweight Immanuel Naidjala of Namibia makes the first defence of his IBF International bantamweight title against Emilio Norfat of Kenya in a return match at the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino, Namibia on Friday night. The undefeated Naidjala who has a record of 16 wins with 10 coming inside the distance and 1 draw, won the vacant title in March this year when he outpointed the tough Leslie Sekotswe of Botswana in a closely contested fight at the Windhoek Country Club Resort.
He made his pro debut in October 2009 with a third round knockout win over Daniel Ausiku and then won his next eight fights in impressive style before capturing the interim WBO Africa bantamweight title on September 24, 2011 when he knocked out Emmanuel Simbeye in the fifth round.
He made successful defences of the WBO belt against Lwazi Mzolisa, Norfat and Shabani Kilumbelumbe before winning the IBF International title.
The 24-year-old Norfat 21-3; 17 from Nairobi made his professional debut in February 2009 and lost on points to Gabriel Ochieng.
After this setback he won his next eleven fights before challenging the highly regarded Paulus Ambunda for the WBO All Africa bantamweight title in June 2011, but was stopped in the twelfth round.
However, this was no disgrace against a fighter like Ambunda who would subsequently win the WBO “world” bantamweight belt.
Since the loss to Ambunda he has had 11 fights, winning 10, with 9 inside the distance and the loss to Naidjala.
In the first matchup with Norfat, the Namibian won on a split decision with two of the judges having it 119-109 and 118-109 for Naidjala, whilst the third judge handed in a rather surprising scorecard of 112-111 for Norfat.
This could be an entertaining fight but Naidjala must be favoured to once again take the decision.
The tournament is promoted by Nestor Tobias of the MTC Sunshine Boxing Academy.
Tobias who fought as a middleweight in the professional ranks from 1993 to 1999 mostly in the Gauteng area has done an outstanding job in promoting boxing in Namibia since returning to home country after his retirement from the ring.