Saturday, December 02, 2023  |


Namibian Marine Sakaria Lukas Is Aiming To Drill Tugstsogt Nyambayar On Showtime

Fighters Network

Sakaria Lukas is up every day at 4:30 in the morning. Sharp. He does his boxing calisthenics for a few hours, then reports to “work” at 0800 hours, before he returns to boxing at 1700 hours. Lukas, 37, speaks in military time. He lives in military time. He thinks in military time.

Everything is a battle to the Namibian Marine Corps sergeant.

Like Saturday night will be, when Lukas (25-1, 17 knockouts) takes on The Ring’s No. 8 featherweight contender Tugstsogt “King Tug” Nyambayar (12-2, 9 KOs).

Lukas is a late replacement for Vic Pasillas, out after a positive COVID-19 test, and will be part of a featured 10-round undercard bout on the WBC featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr.’s sixth title defense against WBC mandatory challenger Mark Magsayo.

The Premier Boxing Champions event on a Showtime’s Championship Boxing telecast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) will take place at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.

It presents Lukas with the opportunity he’s dreamed of. Since he keeps himself in amazing shape, this is not a steep test. King Tug is fighting for his relevance, coming off of two losses in his last three bouts, with losses coming against Gary Russell Jr. and Chris Colbert, which occurred in July 2021.

Lukas’ military background, Lukas feels, will aid him in the ring.

“I have to be committed to boxing and I stay with a routine, and I continue to work,” said Lukas, the father of three, two 12-year-olds, and one is seven. “Tug is a tough guy. Styles make fights and I want to find out how tough he is. You have to go to war. You hard and die hard. Die like a man. I’m not coming to lose.

“If you beat me, you have to beat me fighting.”

Nyambayar will drop down to 126, after losing to Colbert by decision at 130. Lukas’ one loss came to Isaac Avelar in his U.S. debut in December 2020. Lukas notes that it was a fight, like this, that came on short notice.

“I’m in shape and I manage to make time for both my military training and boxing,” said Lukas, who’s won his last two fights. “I stay with my routine. I’ll guarantee you’ll fireworks on Saturday night. You’ll see some sniper shots.”

Evan Holyfield (8-0, 6 KOs), the junior middleweight son of Hall of Fame former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, is in a scheduled six-rounder against Chris Rollins (5-3-1, 4 KOs). In a scheduled six-round featherweight battle, Rasheen Brown (11-0, 7 KOs) takes on Katsuma Akitsugi (7-0, 1 KO).

In an eight-round junior featherweight bout, Abimael Ortiz (9-1-1, 5 KOs) takes on Ryan Lee Allen (10-5-1, 5 KOs), middleweight LeShawn Rodriquez (12-0, 9 KOs) duels Sixto Suazo (9-2-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-rounder and Max Garland makes his pro debut in a four-round welterweight contest against Marik Black (1-0-1, 1 KO).

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/ since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.