by Tamas Pradarics at ringside
Top-rated middleweight contender, kept his unbeaten record upgraded with a massive performance in a largely tactical encounter Tuesday night in Windhoek, Namibia. The WBO Africa titlist took on his first non-African opponent in Argentinian Billi Facundo Godoy in the main event of a major show at the Ramatex factory as part of the Namibian Independence celebration.
Kautondokwa (17-0, 16 KO) started the fight cautiously over his motivated opponent in front of thousands of his celebrating countrymen. Godoy (36-5, 17 KO), who displayed his talent in moving carefully around his heavy-handed counterpart, found success in the first couple of rounds with occasional aggressive waves against the hometown favorite.
The Namibian pugilist kept up the pace in round three, started to use his footwork as well as his jabs more effectively that made it that much harder for Godoy to stay on even terms.
The referee warned both fighters for hitting behind the head while they were trying to punch themselves out the holdings once they got involved in some in-fighting.
Shortly after setting his distance, Walter started to pick his willing foe apart with well-chosen punches that culminated in a picture perfect left hook that dropped Godoy hard in the Namibian corner. The Argentinian moved slowly as he was pushing himself up until eight, but the fight came to an end after the third man in the ring decided the challenger was in no condition to continue.
The stoppage lighted some controversy from Team Godoy who stated the decision of the referee was premature. There was no beef between the fighters, though, who hugged and smiled after the verdict.
“Billi was very smart. He moved a lot to avoid getting hit. I have seen him fight before and he never used his legs that much. It is hard to catch an opponent who is moving effectively. In round five, however, I got him with the left hook. I did not plan to stop the fight there, I wanted to go more rounds to get added experience. I have to go back to the gym and work on some things that I realized during the fight I should be practicing more,” said a happy Kautondokwa after the fight to BoxingScene.com.
With the win, the WBO No. 3-rated Namibian defended his Africa belt for the fifth time and now is ready to take on champion Billy Joe Saunders whenever the Brit will give him his shot at the title.
The controversy was an uninvited guest in two other title bouts that were co-featured the main event live on television in the country.
WBO Africa junior lightweight titleholder Jeremiah Nakathila stopped charismatic Ghanaian Patrick Okine in the fourth round of a wild matchup. The shorter contender tried to hurt his more experienced counterpart since round one that quickly transformed the Namibian fighter in beast mode who rocked Okine with a big right hook in the opening stanza.
Nakhatila (15-1, 11 KO) kept controlling the impulsive pace with wild bombs down the stretch, until another shocking right hook knocked Okine (19-4-1, 16 KO) through the ropes and down to the ground, hitting the cement floor with the back of the head.
The collision left the Ghanaian with a heavily bleeding cut in his skull that sprinkled the floor with a great amount of blood. He rose and made his way back into the ring in shaky legs only to get stopped by the referee who saw him still under the influence of the fell.
The Namibian Nakathila, who currently ranks No. 5 by the WBO at 130 pounds, is looking to improve his position on the international playing field and he tries to put himself in position to fight for the belt of the Puerto Rican-based sanctioning body.
Welterweight Mikka Shonena found a way to earn his second win on the inside during his now 12-bout career when he stopped Tanzanian Said Yazidu (36-14-1, 21 KO) under strange circumstances in the second round. After a slow first frame, Shonena (12-0, 2 KO) dropped Yazidu with a short right hook early in round two. The Tanzanian beat the count but got pushed to the ropes shortly after that where he slipped off of the ring apron with his right foot and suffered a leg injury that prevented him to continue.
Shonena defended his version of the WBO Africa belt for the first time and he is on his way up in the ranks at the tumultuous welterweight class, standing No. 14 by the World Boxing Organization.
Harry Simon Jr improved his record to 5-0, three knockouts after he stopped Gerson Veeta in the third frame of a four-round lightweight matchup. The son of former world champion Harry Simon took the control in the second round and quickly made his opponent unwilling to fight. Veeta (0-5) got penalized during the second for holding but he kept grabbing his taller opponent until the referee disqualified him for his uneventful performance.
Middleweight prospect Paulus Paulinus handled business early as he dropped Malawian Misanjo Charles twice with severe left hooks to the body en route to a first-round knockout. The tall and lanky Paulinus (7-0, 5 KO) looks to have a significant size-advantage over basically anyone at 160. It could be interesting to follow his journey in the future.
Timoteus Shuulula (11-1, 5 KO) won a featherweight bout in a wild shootout against Tinkani Kamanga. The Namibian up-and-comer dropped Kamanga (1-5-1, 1 KO) twice in round two and stopped him when the Malawian collapsed to the canvas for a third time early in round three.
Crowd favorite junior middleweight Max Ipinge (3-1, 1 KO) got a tougher-than-expected decision after four hard rounds of slugging over Limbani Powder.
After a decent round one, Ipinge got caught in the second frame with a big right hook. The Namibian also got cut over his right eye and happened to be an easier target for his foe than he should have been. The athletes kept slugging through the last two frames and ended seemingly on even terms, though judges scored it 40-36, 39-37, 40-37 to the Namibian Ipinge.
Niikoti Johannes surprised Onsmus Nekundi over six rounds, Emmanuel Mungandjela decisioned Steven Shimbonde over six heat, Andreas Mwenyo and Petrus Gustavo fought to a four-round draw, aggressive Gabriel Jamba stunned debutant Sam Mathew with a majority decision over four rounds, Frankie Kativa easily dispatched Nghitumbwa Filipus in the opening stanza, all in preliminary bouts, while Hendinson Nghipondoka slugged out a well-earned four-round unanimous decision over Theo Ben Kativa in the swinger bout of the evening.
The giant card, that started at 2 pm and ended around 11:30 pm, was promoted by Nestor Tobias’s MTC Sunshine Productions and televised live on NBC in Namibia.
You can reach Tamas Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.