by Tamas Pradarics
Unbeaten contender Walter Kautondokwa is eager to prove his championship quality against the top contenders in the middleweight division. The Namibian fighter has been calling out WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders for over a year, but after the British fighter’s most recent injury, Team Kautondokwa has decided to try to secure an interim title fight first.
As leading African boxing promoter, Nestor Tobias told to BoxingScene.com recently, they “will engage the WBO to push for an interim title so that Kautondokwa can become mandatory challenger following his next win.”
If the WBO gives the green light to a bout for the interim belt for the Namibian contender, who is currently rated No. 3 by the Puerto-Rico based organization, Kautondokwa (17-0, 16 KOs) will have to face a fellow top-rated 160-pounder.
Unbeaten Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) is taking the No. 1 spot on the WBO ranking. The American has the talent to give a real hard fight to anyone in the top 10. That, alongside a lukewarm promotional background, makes him an avoided thus inactive boxer.
Daniel Jacobs follows Andrade at No. 2. The Brooklynite had a great performance against middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin in the form of a close, controversial twelve-round decision loss in March last year. Since then, Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) has been 2-0 and on his way to get another super-fight.
Currently, he is said to be in negotiations for a September showdown against Canelo Alvarez. Irish bomber Gary O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 KOs) stands right behind Kautondokwa at No. 4.
“You can even put all three of them in the ring at the same time, Walter ain’t scared of any fighter in this division and it takes only one shot to show the world what a great boxer he is. If Andrade is so avoided, we say to him we are not scared of you or Jacobs or O’Sullivan, we can take on and beat any of them,” said Tobias.
Kautondokwa, who last fought this past March when he stopped Argentinean Billi Facundo Godoy with a picture-perfect left hook in round five in his native Windhoek, Namibia, is currently in training and ready to take on anyone who is willing to step into the ring opposed him.
“I am in top shape right now, have not missed a single gym session [since my last fight], perfecting my art every day and ready when the opportunity knocks anytime,” told the 33-year-old contender to BoxingScene.com.
“My first choice would be Saunders, but with him apparently injured any of the top 15 can come, I am not scared of anybody. My confidence is high, and my power keeps growing.”
The ever-confident Kautondokwa has left a rhetorical question to the end.
“My promoter has been challenging the top-rated opponents one by one and they are not keen on fighting me. At the end of the day, I can sympathize with them, besides who wants to get knocked out?”
Hopefully, the WBO will answer the question soon with putting up that interim belt that could help create some buzz around until champion Saunders feels ready to get back in the ring to take on the best.
You can reach Tamas Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.