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Countdown to Yaounde 2023 Africa Boxing Champs: Hosts Cameroon declare war

Bullish Cameroon head coach Alain Didier Ngatcha has sounded a warning to their opponents in the highly anticipated Africa Elite Men’s and Women’s Boxing Championships in Yaounde this month.

Announcing Cameroon’s formidable team of 20 boxers – 13 men and seven women – Ngatcha said they have a secret weapon they will unleash in the July 25 to August 6 tournament. He didn’t elaborate.

“Boxing is a sport, we want to win clean but our opponents should be prepared for sustained bombardment from the super-fit Cameroon boxers,” said Ngatcha whose team has been bolstered by four foreign-based boxers.

“This is war, we’re ready for it. We’re not taking it lightly, and it’ll not be easy to beat a Cameroon boxer at home.”

Ngatcha’s team includes 11 boxers who were in Maputo for last year’s Africa Championships, six of them winning medals. The only defending champion in the team is the vastly improved female flyweight Ngoune Reine (pictured).

The 11 Maputo boxers in the team:

– Wouang Marcial (silver)
– Issouhou Mouhaman
– Tchouta Mbianda Ignas
– Oumarou Mohamed
– Mengue Ayissi Albert
– Nsangou Mouhamed Kadafi
– Fotouo Totap Junior ( bronze)
– Totsengue Arouna ( silver).
– Mvogo Amougou Serge.(silver)

– Ngouné Reine (gold)
– Akoa Bengono (bronze)

Making their debut in Maputo are female lightweight Vochung Clodia and in men there’s Dubai-based welterweight Messi Elimine and middleweight Ngon Ngon Brandon.

Cameroon’s team of 20 boxers is as follows:

-48kg: Wouang Marcial
-51kg: Issouhou Mouhaman
-54kg: Mevoah Narcisse
-57kg: Tchouta Mbianda Ignas
-60kg: Minko Sa’agman Steve or Ngalla Desmond
-63,5kg: Oumarou Mohamed
-67kg: Messi Éliminé (from Dubaï)
-71kg: Mengue Ayissi Albert
-75kg: Ngon à Ngon Brandon or Nsangou Mouhamed
-80kg: Fotouo Totap Junior
-86kg: André Tiodah( from France),Totsengue Arouna or Kuete Harold
-92kg: Azangué Drevet or Njiké ( from spain)
+92kg: Mvogo Amougou Serge

-48kg: Akoa Bengono
-52kg: Ngouné Reine
-57kg: Mambou Dorine
-60kg: Vochung Clodia Shivabo
-63kg: Mballa Jeanine
-66kg: Bindzi Ongbibou Mireille ( from Canada)
-81kg: Keuyé Bernadette

Coach Ngatcha says so far their training at Omnisport Gym in Yaounde is going on smoothly as they put in the finishing touches ahead of the big show.

“Training is very hard. We have two sessions per day.
All of us are under a lot of pressure which is normal as hosts but my boxers are equal to the task. We’re not shaken by any team even our tough opponents from North Africa.
“My aim in the tournament is to do better than Maputo last year.
It’s not possible now to project on the number of gold medals because many countries in Africa have very good boxers in men and women categories.”

Cameroon finished a joint fifth position with DR Congo in Maputo each with two gold, three silver and four bronze medals.

The experienced IBA 2-Star coach Ngatcha has been handling the national team from 2007 during which he was in charge of the junior and youth teams, taking over the senior team from 2014. One of his major achievements is guiding Cameroon to victory at the 2017 Africa Championships in Brazzaville where the Central African country topped the medals chart with six gold, two silver and one bronze medal followed by Algeria and Morocco.

Ngatcha explains why they’ve left out defending heavyweight champion Paul Donatien.

“His performance dropped a lot and he gained too much weight.”

With Donatien out, 19-year-old Ngoune Reine is the only defending champion in the team.

A member of Lion Boxing Club of Ebolowa, Reine was the surprise package in Cameroon’s team during last year’s Africa Championships in Maputo, punching her way to the finals and outpointed Burundi’s Ornella Havyarimana.

Four boxers in the team represented Cameroon in this year’s Women’s and Men’s World Championships.

Welterweight, Canada-based Bindzi Ongbibou Mireille missed the medals bracket by a whisker, losing in the quarter finals.

Oumarou Mohammed, Nsangou Mouhamed and Fotouo Totap Junior were all in Tashkent for Men’s Worlds with Oumarou once again showing his immense potential. He lost in the round of 32 to eventual silver medallist Baatarsukhiin Chinzorig from Mongolia.

Credit: AFBC Communications

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