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I’m hungry for more

WBF International Super Flyweight champion Joseph ‘Smokey’ Hilongwa.

WBF International Super Flyweight champion Joseph ‘Smokey’ Hilongwa.

This week the Economist had the chance to sit down and have an interview with WBF International Super Flyweight Joseph ‘Smokey’ Hilongwa. Not only did I find out that this man is a humble and lovable character but also that he is a professional chef. Talk about an unusual combination, Smokey has been a chef at Vintage Restaurant in Windhoek for 4 years now.
Born in Ombandja and grew up in Windhoek, Smokey’s love for boxing started when he watched Top Brand boxing, a show which was broadcast on NBC a few years ago. This show and watching boxers like Mike Tyson, Harry Simon and Floyd Mayweather Jr made Smokey the boxer he is today. “I have always admired Mike Tyson’s fighting style, he gets the job done, part of my inspiration comes from Harry Simon, when he became a champion he inspired a lot of people including me. At one point in 2005 he took me to the United States where I learnt a lot about boxing, and how to be fast and use different combinations when fighting” he said.
When asked how he managed to beat Sibusiso Twani his response was “I used two different fighting styles, the inside fight and the distance or bicycle fight. The inside fight gives you an advantage if you are shorter than your opponent and the distance fight allows you to jab at your opponent from a distance”.
Having been an amateur boxer for 8 years,  Smokey said last week’s fight was one of the toughest fights he has ever had “I have never found myself with cuts after a fight, I remember that there was a point at which I could not see because I had blood in my eyes. I wanted to give up but the crowd kept me going”. Boxing fans across the country speculated on whether Smokey would return to the ring after so long and it was that speculation that ignited the desire to work harder for the boxer. “People had doubts about me since my last fight in July 2011, those doubts only made me stronger, now look at where I am now,” he said.
The boxer is very proud of his achievements and said the feeling of being a champion feels great but has created an even greater hunger to do more. He acknowledged the support of Telecom for their sponsorship and urged more companies to come out and sponsor boxers, “The future looks bright for Namibian boxing, it depends on the people that are in administration as long they work hard at sponsoring and training boxers boxing will be the sport to watch in Namibia.”

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