23 January 2018

Namibia: Hitman Confident of Winning World Title Again

Paulus 'Hitman' Moses on Monday expressed confidence that he will win the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) lightweight world title when he meets Raymundo Beltran of Mexico in Reno, Nevada on 16 February.

Speaking at the official launch of the fight, Moses said he was in top shape and can't wait to bring the title back to Namibia.

"I believe in myself and that's why I am here today. I want to thank MTC for what they have done for boxing, as well as the MTC Nestor Sunshine Academy for pushing me to become number one again. I thank all my sparring partners, Harry Simon Junior, Mikka Shonena and Jeremiah Nakathila, I love you guys," he said.

"I was born a champion and I'll die a champion. I'll be ready for Beltran and I'll bring the world title back to Namibia," he added.

Moses said he wasn't worried about Beltran, who's got a record of 34 wins and seven defeats.

"We know him and know what we are facing. He's got his own style and I've got mine and all I can say is he's going to crash, I'm confident of winning the title."

It will be the third time that Moses will fight for the world title and nine years since he first became the world champion in 2009.

On that occasion he won the WBA world lightweight title, but lost it on his second defence the following year.

In 2012 he challenged Ricky Burns for the WBO lightweight world title, but lost on points, and now, six years later, he will once again challenge for the WBO lightweight world title after the title became vacant in November last year.

Moses' promoter Nestor Tobias said his charge was the best fighter in the history of Namibian boxing.

"Paulus Moses is the most successful boxer in Namibia's history. He won the world title, then lost it and then became the mandatory number one challenger again, not once, but twice. He has had the most fights ever by a Namibian professional boxer and will now challenge for the world title again as the mandatory challenger," he said.

Tobias said he managed to secure a title fight for Moses after holding successful negotiations with the WBO.

"The title became vacant when the champion Terry Flanagan moved up to the super lightweight division and the WBO then announced at their convention that the number one and two ranked boxers will fight for the vacant title. The Hitman was actually ranked at number three, but we negotiated with the WBO and managed to get him down to number two.

"This is a great achievement for Namibia and if he puts up a good performance it will open the doors for more Namibian boxers to fight abroad," he said.

Tim Ekandjo of MTC also expressed confidence that Moses will reclaim the world title.

"Paulus Moses is Namibia's most successful boxer if you look at his record and at his history. He has fought the most number of fights and to still be able to achieve what he has after so many fights is truly remarkable.

"I'm not worried that he is fighting away from home, because he won the world title abroad before. We will go to raise the Namibian flag with pride and dignity," he said.

With another MTC Nestor Sunshine Academy boxer, Immanuel Naidjala fighting Jason Moloney in Melbourne, Australia for the Commonwealth bantamweight title on 24 February, and Tyson Ushona of Salute Boxing Academy fighting Frankie Gavin for the IBO world welterweight title on the same date, Ekandjo said there were some exciting times ahead for Namibian boxing.

"It's going to be an exciting February for Namibian boxing, with Imms Naidjala also fighting in Australia, and we'll see what else the MTC Nestor Sunshine Academy has in store. But there are also other exciting fights coming up and we would like to encourage the nation to get behind our boxers, irrespective of what camp they are in," he said.

Tobias also read a statement that Beltran had made ahead of the fight.

"I'm excited about this fight for many reasons. For eighteen years I have worked to become a world champion, so I'm fighting for myself, I am fighting for my family, my wife, and for my children to be proud of me. When you're a champion, you are a champion forever. I am fighting for my team, the people who have been with me from the start. It's easy when you are on your way up to have fans, but my true fans have been with me at my lowest point, and stayed through my highs in life."

Beltran, who is trying to get permanent residence in the United States, said a victory will help him in his quest.

"This fight means everything to me, while a victory will also seal my green card. For me to be world champion and a citizen of this country, this is my dream. I always respect my opponents, but this is my destiny, and no man will get in the way of that. I'm ready to prove to everyone that I am the most dangerous lightweight in the world."

In 2013, Beltran lost a world title bid against Ricky Burns on a dubious points decision in Scotland and said he was going to get what was rightfully his this time.

"I'm coming to take what was mine in Scotland, and when I leave Reno I will leave as the WBO champion," he said.

Referring to his quest for a green card, Tobias, said that Beltran had 'a lot of problems.'

"He's got a lot of problems; he's fighting to get a green card in America, but we just want to bring the belt back to Namibia, we don't want to stay in America," he said.

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