Moses Takes WBA Crown

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK Namibian boxer Paulus ‘ The Hitman’ Moses became the new World Boxing Association (WBA) Intercontinental Lightweight champion on Saturday night after beating Frenchman Mihaita Mutu on points. The current WBA Pan-African Lightweight champion won the 12-round bout by a unanimous decision, scoring 115 against 112, 118-112 and 117-112. Although the encounter was a rather close contest, Moses managed to have an edge over the defensive Mutu. While Moses approached the fight in a more offensive manner, Mutu was very defensive and rather opted to soak up the pressure from Moses. The strategy of Mutu was working especially in the first round as Moses struggled to get in clear punches at the quick Mutu. However as the fight was heading towards midway, fatigue started to creep in and concentration levels dropped. Rounds four and five followed much of the same pattern, with Moses forcing the pace with sharp jabs and quick combinations to the body, while Mutu drew him in and counter-attacked with quick combinations. There was little to choose between the two over the next three rounds, as The Hitman continued to attack and take the fight to Mutu, who replied with quick counter-attacking combinations. Both boxers were however getting a bit tired and referee Rassie Erasmus had to warn both of them for holding on at the start of the seventh round. Moses stung Mutu with two sharp hooks to the head in the ninth round, but Mutu quickly back-pedaled out of trouble and at the end of the round laid into Moses against the ropes. Moses pushed the tempo in the 10th round, and regularly found his target, although the experienced Mutu managed to stay out of trouble. With both boxers sensing the fight was in the balance, they came out and slugged it out toe-to-toe over the final two rounds, with Moses landing the stronger blows. It was a fine performance by Moses, who displayed great stamina to overcome the tough-as-teak Mutu. He is now unbeaten after 17 professional fights, while it was Mutu’s seventh loss after 25 pro fights. The victory also earned Moses a place in the WBA Top 10 worldwide in his division and a record of 17 fights without a loss. Seven under-card fights took place before the main bout. Junias Amunyela beat countryman Joseph Katenda by a unanimous decision in the Junior Welterweight division. In the Flyweight division, Simon Negodhi defeated compatriot Peteneni Elago by a technical knockout in the second round, while Middleweight boxer Willbeforce Shihepo walked over a defenseless Terry Ngubane from South Africa with a technical knockout in the first round of their six-round bout. Daniel ‘ Open Fire’ Kashela, was another brilliant boxer who beat South African opponent Andries Phetla in the Welterweight division also by a technical knockout in the first round of the four-round bout. Super Middleweight fighter Vikapita Meroro beat Oupa Mahlangu from South Africa by a split decision. The Namibian showed signs of unfitness but managed to beat his opponent. In the Lightweight division, Jason Naule recorded the fourth technical knockout of the evening when he beat South African Schoeman Sindane in the fourth round. South Africa registered one win, when their Koos Matshiye beat Namibia’s Siegfried Kaperu in the Featherweight division. Kaperu’s trainer, Hiskia Swarts had to throw in the towel to save his boxer from any more damage. The boxing event was sanctioned by the WBA and the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board and was promoted by the Nestor ‘ Sunshine’ Fitness and Boxing Academy. * Addition reporting Nampa and Namibia Sport.