By Tomi Pradarics
Unbeaten welterweight contender Mikka Shonena solved the biggest test his rising career had seen so far in the pro ranks this past Saturday.
The 31-year-old Namibian put up for grabs his WBO Africa title for the fourth time against tough Chinese Youli Dong in the main event of a show producing 10 professional boxing contests in the city of Ongwediva in Namibia.
Shonena (15-0, 3 KOs), who currently stands No. 5 by the WBO at welterweight, visited the canvas in the third frame only to rise and box his way to a clean 12-round decision victory in a high-stake boxing match fans instantly call as the ‘Fight of the Year’ in Namibia. Scores were 118-110, 116-113 and 115-112 for the Namibian.
With the important victory against a fellow WBO regional titlist in Dong (14-2-1, 9 KOs), the unbeaten Shonena is expected to make further steps above the ranks on his journey to an eventual world title bout in the 147-pound division. The reigning world champion by the World Boxing Organization is American superstar Terence Crawford.
“[Shonena] is doing well and we are taking it one fight at a time. We hope for a much better rating from the WBO after this fight and there is no doubt that he will challenge Crawford in the near future,” said Shonena’s promoter, Nestor Tobias in a press release.
In the undercard, top prospect and son of Namibia’s first ever world champion, Harry Simon Jr, destroyed Zimbabwe’s Phillip Musariri in the second round. With his success, Simon entered his number of victories into double digit while his knockout ratio is as high as 80%.
Unbeaten middleweight prospect Paulinus Paulus outclassed Roy Yudha from Malawi in the second round. Paulus (9-0, 7 KOs) is a tall, lanky fighter with enormous power in both hands. He could easily become the next in line of talented Namibian prospects who rise into world level operators under the watchful eyes of Nestor Tobias.
The show took place at the Ongwediva Trade Fair Center in Ongwediva, was promoted by MTC Sunshine Promotions and televised by NBC.
You can reach Tomi Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.