Ã¢â‚¬ËœHitmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ defends belt
Yesterday, the 26-year old Namibia was set to take on French two time super bantam weight champion, Frederick Gosset in an international 10 round, non-title fight in Oshakati, Namibia’s northern town. Also the reigning Pan African champion, the Hitman said he dearly wanted to have tougher opposition “as I get ready to contest for the world title.”
Although a loss in any of his non-title bouts would mean that he would be forced to relinquish the Intercontinental title, The Hitman told The Southern Times that he will never lose a match, until he fights for the world title.
“I do not fight to lose, I fight to win and it is better to have formidable opposition, so that by the time I go for the world title, next year, I will be too good for any opposition,” he said.
At 17 matches and no loss in his professional boxing career, the 61,23Kg Namibian is now ranked 10th in the WBA rankings of the world. His French opponent last night, had 22 victories in 39 matches with six draws.
The Hitman’s trainer, Nestor Tobias told The Southern Times that pressure and challenges had dramatically increased since he became an intercontinental champion. Said Tobias, “The main challenge is that, if he loses any fight, he will also lose his belt and it will become vacant. But I am glad he is now eyeing the world title, because being in the world top ten, means better chances of becoming a world champion.”
The boxer told The Southern Times that after this weekend’s fight, he would concentrate on the Euro Sport challenge in March 2007, in France. “I have been invited to France next February for the Euro-Sport boxing tournament where more than 57 European Television channels will screen the fights live in Monte Carlo (France). After that it will be a busy year for me as I will challenge for the world title. I might be a world champion by this time next year, although I know I am putting my Intercontinental title at risk by everything I am doing right now.” The Hitman last was week awarded the Namibia Sports Commission, 2006 Achiever of the year award.
Reigning world champion, American Juan Diaz, defended his title by beating 12th ranked, Fernando Angula, last week and Hitman’s trainer had this to say; “I have a feeling Diaz will soon pick The Hitman for a fight, so we decided to engage Gosset so as to keep our fighter busy. Diaz is enjoying the nine months of choosing his own opponents and has been choosing smaller opponents outside the top ten bracket to defend his title. After the nine months, the WBA will start giving him challengers and we want to be ready when our time comes. One way or the other, we will face the world champion.”
Hitman is one of the two Africans in the top ten of the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight category. At a press-conference in the Namibian capital, Windhoek, The Hitman and Gosset both promised fireworks and vowed that by the sixth round, “one of us should be down.” The results were not available by the time of going to press.
“Oshakati is my home town and my comrades will be waiting to see the white man down,” said The Hitman before Gosset’s trainer, Nicolas Nirfard objected by saying that, “a fight is a fight, and it does not matter where you are. If you are in the right state you will win and my boxer has not lost on his last six away fights.”