WBA and IBF world super-lightweight champion Julius Indongo insists he will not be cowed by WBO and WBC champion Terence Crawford’s home support when they meet at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska later tonight.
The unbeaten 34-year-old won the belts in his last two fights; flattening Eduard Troyanovsky in one round for the IBF strap before outpointing Ricky Burns for the WBA version.
Hailing from Namibia, Indongo had never fought outside of his home country before travelling to Russia and Scotland respectively for the Troyanovsky and Burns fights, and has no problems with fighting Crawford in the American’s home state.
“The other fights were happening at home and we used to let a lot of people in the camp – we used to share invitations. The fight was for the championship so there was something that we needed to achieve and change and to improve our image to be known in the world,” he said.
“We had to have focus only on me and the potential and that’s the only way the world was going to get to see me. The promotion had known what was happening with me and letting everyone else know.
“So now everyone is going to see something new again, I know. I have no doubt. I know. All I can say is just only if maybe [the] knockout comes it may be late. But waking up, the day of the fight, be skilful and focused – everything is in position.
“The crowd or the fans, or Terence’s home crowd won’t intimidate me – that is nothing, I cannot afford it, so I travel the same way – it is always the same.”
Since his impressive wins over Troyanovsky and Burns, the ‘Blue Machine’ has become a national hero in Namibia. He has also become one of their most famous athletes, and so knows he must set the right example.
“The thing that has really changed is – I do still live in my town [Windhoek] in Namibia – and I try to stay focused and try do the right thing in the public,” he said.
“When someone becomes known to the whole country, most importantly I try not to roll with the wrong friends. I try and stay home and go to church after work and I do my training program twice a day. That’s the only way that I could say it can be done.
“That is where I am staying and where I train. All of the people are very friendly. We don’t have too much of a division within the people of everyone in the country, especially in the city. There is nothing that can distract me wherever I stay or whatever I do – everyone will know in Namibia.”