Namibian professional boxer Julius “Blue Machine” Indongo’s astonishing rise to stardom has given some local sports followers a damn false sense of hope.
Well, not so long ago when our national senior football team, the Brave Warriors was bundled out of the regional COSAFA Senior Challenge, daggers were drawn with critics calling for heads to roll within the Warriors technical stuff while others felt the entire team should be dissolved – paving the way for fresh pairs of legs.
The chorus of discontent had hardly faded and those who called for Mannetti and his brigade’s heads to roll are now singing a different tune.
Just the other day, Julius Indongo was regarded as the finest athlete to have emerged from our shores and was boastfully spoken in the same breath as the legendary Frankie Fredericks, Andre Stoop and Harry Simon.
What people tend to forget is that athletes like any other human being are mortal and bound to stutter as some point of their flourishing careers.
Back in the day, the likes of Cassius Clay, aka Muhammed Ali, Edson Arantes Donascimento, aka Pele, Jomo Sono, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff and many others were regarded as the finest athletes in world sports.
However, when these phenomenal athletes reached the twilight of their careers, others took over the torch and life goes on.
It is quite disheartening to hear people castigating Indongo for his third round defeat at the hands of American opponent Terence Crawford during their historic unification bout in the United States last weekend.
The mere fact that Indongo was the first Namibian – let alone African – boxer to contest for such high profile multiple titles against a formidable opponent should be enough to place the boy up there among the very best in world boxing.
The very same prophets of doom that wrote the Brave Warriors off following the team’s somewhat lukewarm showing in the COSAFA Senior Challenge; unsurprisingly, the very same vociferous choir is now singing praises for those they called all sorts of unprintable names a few months ago – forgetting that Namibia has been without competitive league football activities for an entire season.
We must learn to be gracious in defeat and accept that there will be always winners and losers in sports competitions – hence the phrase competition between two parties or teams.
Did I hear people calling for Indongo to ditch his handler because he was apparently found wanting with tactics to keep his protégé away from Crawford’s arsenals, what hypocrisy is that?
Why did the very same critics not question Bro Nestor Sunshine Tobias’ ability and tactical acumen when Indongo won back-to-back world titles in convincing fashion, nogal far away from home – I’m just wondering.
I repeat, Indongo was already winner by crating himself a chance of a lifetime to put his body on the line for once in a lifetime multiple world titles bout against one of the finest boxers in world boxing pound for pound.
Needless to remind the shameless critics that Bro Sunshine deserves a certain measure of respect and appreciation for his contribution towards the growth of professional boxing in the Land of the Brave and should be treated accordingly.
I rest my case.