‘The Hitman’ shines

The newly-crowned champion, who also holds the Pan African Lightweight title, informed his trainer after the bout that he is no longer interested in fighting African boxers, but now wants to go after the “big game” in the boxing world.

According to Nestor Tobias, the Hitman’s trainer and promoter, the champion will now fight European boxers, before challenging for the world title.

“African fighters no longer give us sufficient opposition; we have fought Africa’s greatest and come out on top.

The Hitman is in charge. He will only fight African boxers to maintain his pace and stamina, but competitively we would prefer overseas fighters who are subject to intense training and have good facilities,” Tobias said.

Moses won the 12-round bout by a unanimous decision, scoring 115 against 112, 118-112 and 117-112.

He is now scheduled to engage another European at the end of October, in defense of his latest title. “We planned to be African champions in 2002, when the Hitman turned professional; we even had the Intercontinental belt in mind then and I will not rush to give my fighter a go for the world title. He needs three to four more fights, because when we challenge for a title, we don’t do it just to take part, we do it to win!”

The energy-sapping lightweight encounter against Mutu was the second time in 16 fights that the Hitman has been stretched to the last round. He has defeated most of his African opponents by the 6th round.

Only Zimbabwean Misheck Kondwane managed to hold on until the last round, when the two met for the Pan African title two months ago.

“I saw the Hitman’s weakness and this will give me a starting point when we get back to the gym. He has to improve on his stamina,” observed the trainer. Tobias accepted that Mutu was no walk-over.

The Romanian had looked threatening with a solid straight left-right combination in the opening two rounds, unsettling the Namibian for a moment or two.

Tobias says he is still studying the way Europeans fight and observed that the Romanian’s defense was a bit difficult to penetrate.

However, fatigue set in and the marks of Moses’ powerful punches started to show on Mutu in the fifth round, when Moses started mounting the pressure.

By the end of the sixth round, it was clear that both fighters were wrong in their respective pre-match plans, with Moses having promised a sixth-round knock out and with Mutu saying the fight would be a ‘walk-over’.

Even so, Moses continued his onslaught but a knock out seemed impossible as Mutu stood his ground firmly.

Already clearly ahead on points by the seventh round, Moses’ jabs continued to find Mutu, whose only defense was to hold onto Moses more often.

Mutu struck it lucky in the ninth round when Moses walked into one of Mutu’s left jabs as he (Moses) was going towards Mutu, punching.

Weighing 61, 23 Kg, Moses, who is a police officer by profession, got the upper hand in the 11th and 12th rounds as his determination for a knock-out intensified.

With about a minute to go, the Namibian landed a hard straight right, followed it with a looping right hook and then a crunching right straight through Mutu’s guard, sending the visitor to stumble into the referee. This arguably saved him from the canvass.

However, it was too late as the bell rang.

Moses has now added the new title to his WBA Pan African Lightweight title, which he successfully defended twice already. The Hitman will now wait on the WBA to give him his real position in the Top 15, at a Convention in September from where the type of opponents will be decided.

Said Tobias, “If we are outside the top 10, we get more fights because other boxers will still be eager to test our real strength and if we are in the top 10, some boxers might still shun us, but we will hunt them all, until they are silenced.”

The victory also earned Moses a place in the WBA Top 15 world-wide in his division and a record of 17 fights without a loss.

August 2006
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