PASCHAL Ndomba may not be a house hold name in Tanzania's boxing scene, but his exploits in non-title fights has endeared him to boxing enthusiasts in the country.
Coming from a humble background, Ndomba, born 36 years ago in the agricultural rich district of Kyela in Mbeya Region, is set for bigger things after a long and bruising struggle to the limelight.
His love for boxing dates back to his youthful days when Kiwila Boxing Club, then run by the former state-owned Kiwila Coal Mine in Mbeya, served as a grooming ground for talented youngsters.
The Kiwila Mine had a gym that served as an ideal venue for young pugilists to train and stretch their muscles before being considered for the company's boxing team.
Young boxers, striving to excel in the energy-sapping sport, used to train under close supervision of boxing legend Omary Yazidu, then the company's sports officer-cum-coach.
The company also had soccer and netball teams, which were under former Simba and national soccer team player Athuman Juma and Mama Chambi, respectively.
It was in 1991 when Ndomba, whose father was an employee of the Mbeya company, earned a call to Yazidu's squad after impressing the trainer during their training sessions.
The other members of the team were Bagaza Mwambene and Justine Abdallah, to mention but a few. The latter is an employee of Tanzania Prisons.
Yazidu, who, for years, has been in the forefront in boxing promotion, is the man who helped Ndomba shine in the sport.
“He has helped in moulding me into what I am today. He has given me a lot of advice and tips,” says Ndomba.
After some impressive wins in the amateur ranks, Ndomba turned pro, and his presence in the professional ranks was instantly noted.
“My first professional fight was against Malawian Lasco Simwanza, who I beat by knockout in the seventh round of a scheduled 10-round non-title, middleweight bout,” he recalls proudly.
For Ndomba, then a young boxer, it was a foreshadow for a career that would vault him into the ranks of the best middleweights.
From then, he kept flooring his opponents almost at will. But most of his wins have come through non-title bouts.
Three years ago, the Mbeya-born boxer defied the odds when he earned a draw against veteran boxer Rashid “Snake Boy” Matumla in another non-title fight at Sativa Hall in Kyela, Mbeya.
His next opponent was Ali "Van Damme" Ramadhani, who he met on December 23 last year for the vacant national light-heavyweight title at the same venue.
Ndomba took command of the well-attended fight from the start and it came as no surprise when he knocked out his opponent in the second round of the scheduled 12-round fight.
The other veteran boxers who have so far tasted the wrath of the gifted boxer include Maneno Oswald of Dar es Salaam.
Ndomba, who seems to be improving after every fight, beat Maneno by points in one of his latest fights – a super-middleweight, eight-round non-title bout at Chuga Hall in Kyela.
Born in 1973 in Kyela District, Mbeya Region, Ndomba attended Primary School in Mpanda and later at Kiwila from 1983-1989, before venturing into boxing.
As of now, the national light-heavyweight champion is fine-tuning for his next fight against Kenyan David Kamau.
He is expected to face the Kenyan on February 12 for the vacant East and Central Africa light-heavyweight title at Kyela's Sativa Hall.
Asked why he likes boxing -- a sport regarded by some as dangerous, Ndomba simply says, “It makes me feel good. Once you are in it, coming out is another story.”
Among the difficulties he has had to contend with are financial constraints that have forced him to miss out on a number of international fights.
What his former trainer (Yazidu) says about him:
“Unlike many fighters, Ndomba is a true student of the sport and always looking to learn something new,” says the legendary professional boxer.
On Ndomba's next fight, Yazidu is optimistic the Tanzanian boxer would perform well against the Kenyan, whose record is 30 wins with 22 knockouts, 4 losses and 2 ending in knockout.
On his part, Ndomba says he is not scared of the Kenyan.
“I've never met him in action, but I'm ready to whip him on February 12. I always do my things in the ring, so he will know how bad I am.”