by Tamas Pradarics
Unbeaten middleweight Walter Kautondokwa is preparing for his next victory on Tuesday night in his native of Windhoek, Namibia. The hard-hitting contender will risk his WBO Africa belt for the fifth time when he takes on Argentinian Billi Facundo Godoy in the 12-round main event of a giant, 14-bout card organized as part of the Namibian Independence Day celebrations.
Kautondokwa (16-0, 15 KO), who currently stands at No. 3 with the World Boxing Organization, is taking his most experienced opponent in his four and a half years as a professional pugilist in Godoy (36-4, 17 KO).
“I can feel more pressure that now I am fighting an experienced boxer. It is also because we are aiming for big things. If you look at my position at the world ranking, I am ranking number 3 that means anytime I can challenge a world title, so I must win this fight to go for the big ones,” told the Namibian fighter to BoxingScene.com through this writer during a Tuesday morning interview.
The Argentinian fighter might have seen more in the pro ranks, but he seems to be the smaller fighter in this matchup, while Kautondokwa also has the edge in punching power. Walter, however, does not think this will be a short night.
“No, no, no. The thing is, I have seen him fight, and I saw a fighter who is also a good puncher. Going into this fight, I am not really looking for the power. I am looking to use my technique because I do not want to do mistakes. I do not want to see myself being countered with punches. I am aiming to use just technique. I do not want to rush in to get a knockout. I am not aiming for a knockout. I am prepared to go the full 12 rounds.”
A long fight, let alone a distance match, can be a useful experience for the Namibian to get more knowledge regarding how his strength can hold on into the later stages of a fight.
“That is it. Going more rounds will be a good benefit. With going a long distance, I can gain more experience, and this way I will know what to do when I fight through the late rounds in the future. Most of my fights ended under four rounds or three rounds so now I would like to go more rounds to feel out how effective I really can be against an experienced boxer, how far I can go against such a good opponent,” said Kautondokwa.
That bout can very well be against fellow unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders, who happens to hold the WBO world title belt at middleweight.
“If the fight against Saunders is next, I am ready to go for that. If the opportunity comes, I cannot let it go. If it comes, I will take it [right after this fight].”
Saunders has an assignment with countryman Martin Murray June 23 at the O2 Arena in London. With that being a voluntary defense, a mandatory shot could be looming next for the extrovert titlist. At the same time, Saunders, like many others at 160 pounds, is on the Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovking bandwagon as he would love to secure a big money fight against the winner of their rematch on May 5 in Las Vegas. Kautondokwa is waiting for his turn to get the chance to win his first world title belt.
“I have seen Billy fighting many times, I am not impressed by his style. It’s gonna be a hell of a fight. I know he is underestimating me, but once we meet in the ring, it is going to be a hell of a fight.”
The unbeaten contender, however, also has an offer for Saunders if the latter is not willing to trade leather with him.
“If he does not want to fight me, then he should just bring me the title. Because anytime soon I get the fight, I will come and take it, anyway. I am not scared or worried about him, anytime he wants to fight, he can accept my challenge, so I can come and take his belt,” stated the confident Kautondokwa.
“When you prepare for boxing, you prepare against a suitable opponent, to build your fighter’s confidence, and we have been doing that. This fight against Godoy is a big step forward, and a win is crucial. Our focus is on this fight,” said Nestor Tobias, manager and promoter of Walter to BoxingScene.com.
“We must not overlook this guy, because this guy is next, and if you want to get to the next step, you must take this step first. You can only fight for a world championship if you go step by step. Walter is number 3 now, after this fight he might even improve his position.”
As far as a future shot against Saunders, Tobias is positive the Puerto Rican-based sanctioning body will put its share in the story that will open the door for his fighter.
“Billy Saunders has his own plans but the WBO have rules and regulations, so I am sure Walter will get the chance soon.”
The Namibian businessman is well-aware about the recent challenge in front of his fighter and has a strict game plan come fight time.
“I know that Argentinians have very upgraded boxing skills, they can move, they can box. But Walter is gonna use his strength, and his reach to control the fight. It is all about to control the fight. It does not matter how the other guy fights, you know? But for me, as a coach, as a promoter, as a former boxer, any boxer should use his jab. With that, you can control any opponent. Walter has the reach and a good jab, so we are taking it from there. Once [you are effective with] the jab, you can open up, you can see what is in front of you.”
Tuesday’s card is highly anticipated in Namibia and has its own history that is interlaced with the Independence celebrities.
“We have been doing this Legacy Independence Boxing Bonanza for the last seventeen, eighteen years. But this is an even more special card because, since our independence, we have only had three presidents in Namibia and all three are still alive and have good health. The way they brought independence to this country was amazing, it was not easy, it took blood and sweat. It is just a good thing to tell the kids, how they got that independence, and why our history is important,” discussed Tobias.
The fight card will take place at the Ramatex complex, a huge building that can soak in thousands of fight fans.
“I hope the weather will be good today, and we expect a full venue. That’s going to be good for the country, good for Namibia, good for the future of this country also if we can bring people together to celebrate.”
The event, that is billed “Legacy Fight” is promoted by leading African promoter, Nestor Tobias’ MTC Sunshine Productions and will be televised live by Namibian TV.
You can reach Tamas Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.