FEATURE: African boxer set for international stage

An amateur African boxer is taking the sport by storm, having secured his spot in an international signing that will change his life.

Ardi Ndembo is said to have a powerful right hand.

CAPE TOWN, September 3 (ANA) – An amateur African boxer is taking the sport by storm, having secured his spot in an international signing that will change his life.

Ardi Ndembo, 23, currently living in Cape Town and originally from Congo Brazzaville, started boxing at the age of 14 after being bullied at school.

Boxing brought him inner peace and became his focus in life.

Ndembo is 1.97 metres tall, weighs 105kg and fights in the heavyweight division.

His manager, Jeremy Bean, said Ndembo has been in Cape Town since 2019 and is in the non-governmental organisation Future Champs’ athlete development programme.

Future Champs uses sports combined with life skills training to access opportunities to unlock youth potential.

Ardi Ndembo and his manager, Jeremy Bean

The organisation builds and constructs gyms and youth centres in under-resourced areas from upcycled shipping containers. The flagship centre is located in the Philippi Plaza Shopping Centre in Philippi, Cape Town.

Ndembo’s boxing hero is American WBC heavyweight title-holder from 2015 to 2020, Deontay Wilder.

“I have a similar style to Wilder and I’ve got a powerful right hand, too. In the next five years I want to be a heavyweight contender in the top 15 rankings and getting into title shot contentions,” Ndembo said.

He may be living his dream much sooner than expected, as by this time next year he will be jetting off to the US and will be signed to Manny Pacquiao’s Promotion with representation of Global Boxing Star, which plugs fighters into top rank premier boxing championships in the US.

“It’s been a tough time during lockdown as we haven’t been able to fight. He’s a very decorated amateur boxer with over 100 amateur fights. He competed in two All African Games and received the bronze medals,” Bean told African News Agency.

“He also attended the Olympic qualifiers in Cameroon but did not make the team.

“This is an elite athlete, great amateur pedigree. This kid has both the physical and mental fortitude to make it all the way,” Bean said.

He said all eyes are on building Ndembo’s professional record and launching him onto the world stage.

Sponsorship has been secured from German-based Roomaif Boxing Apparel Company by Scott Farrel, an adviser to Pacquiao.

Farrel will be representing Ndembo in the US next year.

“I will be Ardi’s adviser and manager when he comes over to the US and I will be arranging his fights and trying to sign him to top rank. I deal with the elite level of this sport.

“Ardi has a good boxing brain, he shows all signs of true potential and he can be an absolute star,” Farrel told African News Agency.

Ndembo’s next fight is scheduled for November 27, in Cape Town.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher