It’s being dubbed as: “The Battle: Namibia vs China.”
China’s Dong Youli, current WBO Asia Pacific Youth welterweight champ, said he doesn’t care about the age gap of his opponent, he is ready to face Namibia’s imposing Mikka Shonena on Aug. 24 in Oshana, northern Namibia, Xinhua reported.
Dong, 24, said at a face-off event that despite being seven years junior to his opponent, he believes he can take on Shonena and emerge victorious.
Meanwhile, Shonena said he watched Dong’s previous fight videos and his younger opponent is quite skillful, but that he is prepared too, adding some trash talk to the mix.
“I don’t know much about my opponent but come the night of the fight, I promise I will iron out that boy. And I want to urge all fans, especially in the northern regions, to come in numbers and support the sport. I will make you guys proud by ironing that boy [Dong],” said Shonena.
Dong currently has 14 wins, one draw and one defeat under his belt, while the 31-year-old Shonena, who is still undefeated after 14 professional fights, is the WBO Africa welterweight champion.
Promoter Nestor Tobias said it would be a world-class battle between two highly rated boxers, the Namibian reported.
“This will be a world-class fight between the African and Asian WBO champions. The aim is to get a better rating for the boxers, so they are not fighting for a title, although the loser will lose his title, while the winner will keep his title, and get a better rating,” Tobias said.
“The welterweight division is hotly contested worldwide with a lot of excellent boxers like Terence Crawford and Amir Khan, so it is not easy, and we will just have to work hard to achieve our goals,” he added.
A confident Dong earlier e-mailed the promoters that he intends to win the fight, and called on his fans to cheer him on.
“I am coming to Namibia to win,” Dong said. “I know I will be fighting away from home, but I know that my Chinese brothers and sisters will come out in their numbers to support me. I am super-prepared and looking forward to the fight.”
According to John Ekongo of sponsor MTC, the winner will take a big step closer to a world title fight.
“Since this is a battle between two world-rated boxers, the winner will get a better rating in a very tough weight division, where Terence Crawford is currently the WBO welterweight champion, as well as taking a massive step closer to facing the world champion,” he said.
Shonena, known as the “Silent Assassin,” is promising an exciting bout, saying that he will make easy work of Dong, who will be fighting outside his country for the first time.
If the Namibian loses this fight to Dong, his WBO Africa welterweight crown will become vacant and he will drop in the world rankings.
But if he wins, he will retain his title and shoot up on the world rankings and possibly move within touching distance of much bigger fights in this highly competitive division. The same scenario applies for Dong, as a defeat against Shonena will see his title become vacant and him dropping in world rating, while a victory will play out to the contrary.
Experts say, expect a punishing fight that could go into the later rounds.