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New Era Newspaper Wednesday July 26, 2017

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NEW ERA |

NEW ERA | Wednesday, July 26 2017 Visions Consulting Squash Open starts today Page 22 ‘No Mercy Part 7’ Boxing Bonanza slated for September Page 23 SPORT IBF comes clean on Indongo vs Crawford fight ... early announcements not true Contrary to earlier announcements that all four major boxing organisations (WBA, WBO, WBC and IBF) had already fully sanctioned the August 19 showdown between Namibia’s Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo and USA’s Terence Crawford, it now appears not to be entirely true as the IBF only gave the fighters the green light last Thursday (July 20). Announcements about the mega fight between the two unbeaten and unified champions were not completely true until last week Thursday, at which point the International Boxing Federation (IBF) agreed to grant Indongo – who also holds the IBF and WBA world titles) – a second exception to pursue a unification bout in lieu of honoring his mandatory challenger obligations. Indongo was granted such an exception through a vote among the IBF Board of Directors, which was conducted through a conference call. While the vote wasn’t unanimous, a majority of the 11-member panel agreed to allow the fight to happen. “It is the responsibility of the IBF Board of Directors to review the information regarding the exception request and to determine whether the exception should be granted or denied and what conditions if any will apply,” noted IBF president Daryl Peoples. “On July 20, 2017, the Board of Directors participated in a conference call to determine whether this exception request should be granted or denied. A majority of the directors have determined that the Exception to Regulations should be granted to Julius Indongo,” reads the confirmation letter, of which a copy has been obtained by FightNights.com. The ruling – which came one month after Indongo’s co-promoter Eddie Hearn submitted a formal exception request, which required a ,000 non-refundable deposit – came with several stipulations, however. An exception had to be filed for consideration since Indongo was on the hook to next face mandatory challenger Sergey Lipinets, who has been waiting in the wings since earning his title shot with an 8th round knockout of Leonard Zappavigna last December. The win came hours after Indongo iced Eduard Troyanovsky with a single punch to win the IBF title in Russia. The unbeaten Namibian southpaw filed for an exception for his first title defence, which came in the form of another road trip to Scotland for a two-belt unification clash with Ricky Burns. Indongo (22-0, 11KOs) won by unanimous decision to pick up a second belt, but left the ring knowing a Lipinets (12-0, 10KOs) fight would soon be ordered. The IBF in fact acted promptly, ordering a 30-day negotiations period before the matter would go to a purse bid hearing. A loophole came in the form of Hearn – on behalf of Indongo – filing for a medical exemption, claiming his charge suffered a hand injury in his aforementioned win over Burns. Medical proof was required by the IBF, as well as a request for records review by Lipinets’ team. Indongo’s team managed to kill enough time to secure a four-belt unification clash with Crawford (31-0, 22KOs) shortly after watching from ringside as the switch-hitter from Omaha, Nebraska dismantled 2008 Olympic Gold medalist Felix Diaz in ten one-sided rounds this past May. Details for the bout were finalized by June 30, with the clash to air live on ESPN from the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. The event takes place roughly one hour from Crawford’s hometown, close enough for Indongo to enter his third straight title bout in his opponent’s proverbial backyard. Still, the IBF getting on board with the four-belt unification tagline required a majority rule through formal vote from its Board of Directors. That moment came only on July 20, although not without a full list of stipulations before granting its full blessing. “A majority of the directors have determined that the Exception to Regulations should be granted to Indongo with the following conditions: the Indongo vs Crawford bout must take place on or before August 19, 2017. The contracts for this bout must be submitted to the IBF office by the close of business day on Friday, August 4, 2017,” said Peoples as he informed representatives for Crawford (Top Rank), Indongo (Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing), Lipinets (TGB Promotions) and their respective attorneys. What those contracts cannot contain is a rematch clause that would get in the way of the winner next facing Lipinets, given the short turnaround provided by the IBF. It will also mark the absolute final exception granted by IBF – at least until Lipinets is finally granted his title shot, Peoples further explained. “The contracts shall not include any clause that will interfere with the mandatory defence of the IBF Jr. Welterweight title. Julius Indongo and [Terence] Crawford must agree in writing that they will fight the IBF Jr. Welterweight Mandatory within 90 days of the August 19, 2017 bout or by Saturday November 17, 2017,” Peoples added. “Indongo and Crawford will comply with all of the conditions set forth in the granting of this exception or formal sanction will not issue for the proposed bout on August 19, 2017. The IBF will not consider any future Exception or Unification requests until the IBF Jr. Welterweight Champion completes his IBF Mandatory obligation.” - fightnights.com We must not underestimate Comoros - Mannetti WINDHOEK Brave Warriors mentor Ricardo Mannetti Namibia must not underestimate Comoros because of the little information available about them, Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti has cautioned. Speaking to Nampa following Namibia’s penalty shootout victory over Zimbabwe that propelled them into the third round qualification of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), Mannetti said Comoros, which the Brave Warriors face next month, must be treated with prudence. The two teams will meet in Comoros for the first leg on the weekend of August 11, while the return leg is scheduled for Windhoek on the weekend of August 18. “The fact that they made it this far proves that they are a formidable opposition,” Mannetti said. He added that in the last few years, they have proven to be difficult opponent as they hardly lost at home, while losing by small margins away. In 2017 alone, the island nation of about 800,000 inhabitants has played six games, winning two, drawing two and losing two. Their biggest defeat in these six games was a 0-2 loss away to Togo, while their biggest win was a 2-0 victory over Lesotho two weeks ago. With the above statistics, Mannetti said it will be a big mistake if Namibia does not take the Comoros seriously as they may surprise everyone by knocking Namibia out of the qualification race at the last hurdle. “We will prepare for them thoroughly, I do not want surprises,” he added. The Brave Warriors will regroup today as they continue with preparations for the CHAN qualification, albeit without Civics and Tura Magic players, who will be with their clubs for the Debmarine Cup scheduled for this weekend in Gobabis. Loydt Kazapua is injured. Namibia on Sunday beat Zimbabwe 5-4 in a penalty shootout following a one-all aggregate draw. Namibia won 1-0 in the first leg. Comoros beat Lesotho 2-1 over two legs, winning their home match 2-0 and losing away 0-1. The fifth edition of CHAN will run from January 11 to February 2, 2018 in Kenya. - Nampa

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