Good luck to Ali Nuumbembe this weekend in his bid to win the Commonwealth Welterweight title from Scotsman Kevin Anderson. I met Ali just over a year ago, with benefactor Richard Parker, at the latter’s pub in Glossop and it is very hard not to be engaged by Ali’s story.
A survivor of a war-ravaged youth, Ali suffered loss at the hands of an oppressive government. Family members vanishing for daring to risk association with the resistance fighters and never found. Recent discoveries of mass graves, in the now peaceful Namibia, a silent reminder of the horrors of those times.
From the relative comfort of a caravan at the back of Richard’s pub, the ‘Silent Assassin’ has become a popular figure in the town and will look to finally win the belt he is so desperate to secure. Though the lucrative aspects of being a champion appeal, for Ali it really is about winning a title.
In conversation, Ali is quiet and humble, in the ring he’s a very different proposition and I hope he can overcome Anderson’s strength and stamina to box his way to victory. Ali has nothing but respect for his opponent, suggesting more than a year ago that he regarded him as the best of his rivals – and that was prior to Anderson’s recent success’.
Should be a compelling fight. Good luck to both fighters.