Harare – Two of Africa’s most iconic boxers, Harry Simon (Snr) of Namibia and South Africa’s Dingaan “Rose of Soweto” Thobela, have done it all in the sweet science.
They have won five world titles between them, won glorious battles against vaunted opponents, and done wonders for the popularity of the sport.
Yet they have never traded leather.
That may all change as the legends have agreed – in principle – to feature in an exhibition match at the International Boxing Tournament in Harare, Zimbabwe on August 14.
Simon Snr attended the launch of the tourney in Harare last month, and expressed his desire to be on the card although the identity of a possible opponent remained unclear.
Now The Southern Times Sport has established that promoters of the bill, United States-based stable Lion Heart Productions, fronted by CEO Edward Mendy, is in negotiations with Simon Snr and Thobela to make a fight happen. And the two prize fighters’ camps are keen on a bout.
At 48, Simon Snr who was never defeated as a pro fight in 26 years of stepping into the ring, and he is confident that he can get the better of 54-year-old Thobela.
Simon said this week, “Something like me fighting Thobela is being talked about. The contract hasn’t been signed yet but I am very much ready to face him if the paperwork is completed. That will be amazing for me to face off against Thobela. I am raring to go and I am training hard for that.”
Thobela, who, like Simon has written one of the most remarkable success stories from scratch in the boxing ring, said: “I am in preparation for that event which is set for August. In principle we have agreed the fight can go ahead although the paperwork has not yet been prepared.
“Most definitely, the fight will be a good display of pugilism as two African world champions who have represented the continent with great pride battle it out. This fight, if put together in a good way will help uplift boxing in the region and beyond because we will be showing the young pugilists that it is possible to surpass adversity like me and Harry have done.
“The region has always supported both me and Harry and for us to have been successful in the sport, we owe it to this region and even the continent so we have to give them what they deserve by putting up a good fight.”Another potential mouth-watering clash at the International Boxing Tournament in August could be the one between Harry Simon (Jnr) – son of Simon (Snr) – and Justin Mayweather, brother of the iconic Floyd Mayweather (Jnr). Talks are ongoing between the camps to set up the fight.