RARELY has all four major world titles been contested for in one bout.
But it is almost unheard of for an African boxer to be one of the contestants.
Which is why Julius Indongo’s world title unification clash against Terence Crawford at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Nebraska, US tomorrow (Sunday morning SA time) will be a historic fight occasion for African boxing.
The Namibian has already etched his name in the history books by being the dual world champion owing to the WBA and IBF junior-welterweight titles he currently holds.
Now he is gunning for all four major belts by taking on reigning WBC and WBO American king Crawford in his own backyard.
Boxing historians will have to dig deep from their archives to find a boxer who once held all major belts, much more from the continent.
Like almost all Namibian boxers, Indongo’s boxing ascent was shaped by bouts against SA fighters in general and East London opponents in particular.
The left-hander, who goes by the “Blue Machine” moniker, gained valuable experience from cagey Mdantsane switch- hitter Zolani Marali in a decision win in Namibia two years ago.
And in all of his 22 wins in as many fights, the experience gained from the bout against Marali will be the most ideal to prepare for Crawford, who is also a dexterous boxer.
His win over Marali propelled him to his world conquest as a year later he travelled to Russia to dethrone then reigning IBF champion Eduard Troyanovsky by a stunning 40 seconds blitzing.
While some described the win as a fluke, Indongo again dusted off his passport and hopped onto a plane to Glasgow, Scotland to hand Ricky Burns some sort of a boxing lesson to lift his WBA crown.
Even those who had refused to give him his props were forced to admit that the Namibian was something special.
Now he faces arguably the best pound for pound boxer in the world in Crawford, who is seen as heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather.
Indongo did not hesitate when the fight against fellow unbeaten Crawford was offered to him for all the marbles despite the partisan crowd which will favour the American.
“I have no problem fighting in my opponent’s backyard, so going to Nebraska was a non-issue for me,” Indongo was quoted as saying.
The Namibian is also banking on the world spotlight the bout has attracted, believing that if he is robbed of a win, everybody will be able to witness the injustice.
Indeed there are historic connotations in the bout due to its featuring all the major world titles.
There is no imagination of what a win will do not only to Indongo but to boxing as a whole in the African continent.
The Namibian will be mentioned among the ilk of the greatest African boxers ever such as Azumah Nelson.
While Harry Simons remains Namibia’s best boxing success, not only will Indongo surpass him but he will be treated as an African boxing god and the fame and fortune awaiting him will be limitless. — Boxing Mecca