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Home / ‘The Terminator’ celebrates 30 years of glory… content with achievements in the ring … pays homage to Geingob for suppor

‘The Terminator’ celebrates 30 years of glory… content with achievements in the ring … pays homage to Geingob for suppor

2024-02-21  Correspondent

‘The Terminator’ celebrates 30 years of glory… content with achievements in the ring … pays homage to Geingob for suppor

Maqonda Ndlovu


Two-weight world champion Harry ‘The Terminator’ Simon says he has no regrets about his career as he celebrates 30 years as an undefeated professional boxer, a record few other boxers hold in the world.

It is estimated that about 15 boxers have retired undefeated to date, and ‘The Terminator’ is one of them.

Simon, who started his boxing career as a 13-year-old in 1984 in Walvis Bay and became a world champion in 1994 when he defeated Winky Wright in South Africa, says that besides the unfortunate events of the two accidents in 2001 and 2002, he is content with his achievements in boxing.

“I have done well. I don’t regret anything. God has been by my side throughout my career, and I have enjoyed it. I am proud and content with my achievements in the ring,” he said.

Going down memory lane, Simon said he got into boxing by accident as he and his friends were watching older boys sparring at a gym hall in Walvis Bay from the door.

“One of the boxers came from behind and pushed me in while my friends managed to escape. I was given gloves to spar inside the hall with a bigger guy. I knocked the guy out and ran away from the gym, thinking the bigger guys would beat me up,” he recalled.

A few days later, two older guys (who he only remembers as SP and Hindjou) met him at the shops and convinced him to return to the gym, and as they say, the rest is history.

Simon recalled that his first ‘trophy’ from boxing was an orange.

“I kept it on top of the fridge for a few days, until it started getting bad. From there on, my journey in the beautiful sport of boxing began, as I dominated Namibian and South African amateur boxing scenes before turning pro,” the boxer said.

His overall amateur record was 121 wins and nine losses, and he represented Namibia at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.

Fast forward to 26 January 1994, when Simon won his first professional bout against South African Leon van Rensburg via a technical knockout (TKO) in the first round.

That was the beginning of a journey that would see him win all his 31 professional fights—23 by knockouts and eight by decision.

On 22 August 1988, Simon stunned the world when he claimed the World Boxing Organisation junior middleweight title after outpointing Winky Wright in South Africa.

He retained the title four times before winning the interim middleweight title against Hacine Cherifi in Puerto Rico in 2001, the year he was involved in his first accident, which claimed two lives.

Nine months later, he claimed the middleweight title by beating Armand Krajnc in Denmark.

This was followed by the second accident in 2002, which claimed the lives of three Belgian tourists and saw him sentenced to seven years in prison.

While in prison, Simon was stripped of his world title because he failed to defend it, and upon his release in 2007, he returned to the ring to face Stephen Nzuemba at Sam Nujoma Stadium as he attempted to relaunch his career.

His last professional fight was in 2018 at Ramatex, Windhoek, against Kaminjah Ramadhan.

Simon has often complained of boxers avoiding him, even for exhibition matches saying his ruthlessness in the ring scares away his opponents.

He currently trains his son, Harry Junior, with whom he says they get along very well.

“I see myself in him; he is sometimes difficult to work with (just like me). He is a long way from being a finished product, but I am helping him to be the best he can be. I find it very funny that some people want to compare us. Boxing during my time and now is different; the training, the schedules, the rules, and many other things are different, so you can’t compare the two of us,” Simon explained.

Geingob support

He added that during his hey days, he and Nestor Tobias would spend months in South Africa training, and without the help of the late president Hage Geingob, he would have never made it.

“He was like a father to me. He supported us in every way you can imagine. He advised me, he followed my progress, he paid for my rent and gym fees, he attended some of my fights, and always made sure I was okay, even when things were looking bad for me,” Simon said.

He added that Geingob’s death shocked him, and he has yet to come to terms with the fact that the man who always called him ‘son’ is no more.

Simon paid tribute to all his trainers over the years, saying that as much as he was a difficult person to work with, the coaches always found a way to make sure that he prepared well for the fights.

“I have been blessed in my journey. I wouldn’t change anything if I had to do it again. I would change a few things that I did outside the ring, for which I take full responsibility and regret. I also call upon those who ridicule me, especially the youngsters in boxing, to match or break my record,” he quipped.

‘The Terminator’ wishes that Namibians could recognise former sportsmen and women in the same way as the liberation war heroes and politicians to help them make their lives respectable after their careers.

He said he doesn’t know what would have happened to him after his career weren’t for his wife Mellisa, his 11 children, his family, church, friends, and his in-laws (the Joodt and de Wee families).

Simon, who has a book out that talks about his life in prison, said he would like to document his whole life in a second book and possibly make a movie to make sure that history is told as it is.

Quizzed about local boxing, Simon said he would rather not involve himself in local boxing politics, but instead work towards making the boxing space better than its current status. 


2024-02-21  Correspondent

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