IMMANUEL 'Prince' Naidjala is determined to reignite his faltering career by capturing the vacant Commonwealth bantamweight weight title next month.
In what is possibly his final shot at glory, he must beat Australian Jason 'The Smooth One' Moloney, who will also put his WBA Oceania title on the line, in Melbourne on 24 February.
On the back of two consecutive high-profile losses, Naidjala knows he is fortunate to get another big fight, and will look to redeem himself against a top world-rated boxer.
Naidjala lost out on the WBO and IBF Intercontinental bantamweight titles against South Africans Siboniso Gonya and Mzuvukile Magwaca in April and December last year.
“I know that I have to win this fight if I am to get my boxing career back on track. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and for the faith my team continue to show in me, despite the two losses,” the 33-year-old former WBO Africa bantamweight title holder said.
“I'm a lucky person. How many people get such other opportunity like this after losing two title fights in a row? God wants me to become a champion again,” he continued.
“I must say 2017 wasn't a good year for me. It was the biggest challenge in my career. It happens that sometimes things are just not working out for you. But what makes you better is how you come back from disappointments.
“I'm not promising anything, but I'm working hard to be at my best come 24 February,” the one-time WBO world title contender said.
His trainer and promoter Nestor Tobias certainly believes his fighter will bounce back Down Under.
“Despite his recent setbacks, I believe Naidjala is still a great boxer, and it is up to him to go and make the best of this opportunity. That is exactly why we have not given up on him because he deserves another chance to become his great self again,” said an optimistic Tobias.
“We support and encourage him to remain focused and do the nation proud when he faces Moloney, who is a world-rated boxer. The future remains bright for our boxers, and all they must do is deliver in the ring,” Tobias said.
Moloney (26) remains undefeated in 15 fights with as many knock-outs, while Naidjala comes in more experienced with 23-4-1 (13 KO's).
“I think Naidjala will certainly be my toughest opponent to date. He is a very fast and skilful boxer who lost a close points' decision against Tomoki Kameda for the world title, so he is obviously a great fighter. I feel that I am definitely ready for this sort of test, and I believe that fighting top-level opponents like Naidjala will really bring the best out of me,” said Moloney.
- Title: Commonwealth title or bust for Prince
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- Date: 9:33 PM