Born-again Christian Phillip “Timebomb” Ndou is determined to prove his detractors wrong by winning the International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight title.
The 38-year-old boxer from Thohoyandou, Limpopo, believes God will guide him to the crown currently held by American Kell Brook.
The former World Boxing Union super featherweight champion made a remarkable comeback to the ring a fortnight ago after being out of the reckoning for two years.
He stopped Tanzanian Ramadhani Shauri in the fourth round of their scheduled welterweight 10-round bout at the Thohoyandou Town Hall.
A veteran of 41 professional fights, Timebomb had last laced his gloves competitively in 2013, when he beat Namibian Pohamba Mandume on points over eight rounds in Windhoek. That was his comeback bout after critics wrote him off when he lost on points to his namesake, Lovemore Ndou, for the vacant IBF welterweight diadem at Emperors Palace in 2009.
Five years earlier, Ndou had suffered a humiliating split points decision defeat at the hands of Isaac Hlatshwayo for the national lightweight crown at Carnival City. He sustained a brain injury from that bout and was advised to hang up his gloves.
But he has defied the odds by staging two comebacks, and has his sights firmly set on the title.
“The IBF crown is weighing heavily on my mind. I believe that, through the power of the Almighty, I will prove wrong those who have been saying that I’m finished,” said Ndou.
He said he would retire from boxing only if God told him to do so. He believed his career was firmly back on track.
“My last opponent, Shauri, had actually said he would send me into retirement, but I outclassed him. I won’t quit now, unless the man above tells me so.”
Ndou has already fought in three different weight divisions – featherweight, junior lightweight and junior middleweight.
He said he was comfortable campaigning in the welterweight class again.
He still entertains hopes of challenging his former conquerer Floyd “Money” Mayweather, who stopped him in the seventh round of their World Boxing Council lightweight match-up in 2003.
“I believe I can beat Mayweather this time around. I challenged him the last time he was here, and he has been avoiding me,” said Ndou.
His manager, Promise Moyo, said her charge would fight for the vacant IBF intercontinental title in December.
“He will definitely fight again before his home fans in Thohoyandou. A win will obviously earn him two more fights before he gets a crack at the IBF championship,” said Moyo.
She said details of the bout would be finalised soon.