Hitman Still Stock-Taking

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By Confidence Musariri The newly crowned World Boxing Association (WBA) Intercontinental Lightweight World champion, Paulus The Hitman Moses, has entered the world’s Hall of Fame stable and has not stopped to count his blessings, almost seven days down the line. The Namibian has now entered the sport’s most tumultuous division where he can now challenge for the world title or any other competitive fights anywhere in the world. On September 24, a World Boxing Association Convention will be convened in Japan where the Hitman will learn his latest ratings. The reigning Pan-African Champion automatically qualified for the top 15 in the world when he won the Intercontinental title. Trainer, Nestor Tobias, says he prefers his fighter being in the top 15 to being in the top 10 because “the lower he is rated, the better he can fight for the world title, since he will be an underdog.” The barnstorming lightweight encounter lasted 12 rounds, the second in as many fights to last that long, in Hitman’s career. No monetary gains have been released from last Saturday’s fight, arguably because of the promoter and the sponsor’s contractual obligations, but the Hitman is positively counting his blessings. The fighter has been enlisted to contest in the March 2007 Euro-Sport Boxing Tournament where more than 57 European Television channels will screen the fights live in Monte Carlo, France. Nestor Tobias says his fighter is not eager to rush for the World Lightweight title. The Hitman will fight three more fights, “to keep him fit before taking on the world title. We planned for this Intercontinental belt way back in 2002 when the Hitman became a pro.” Former three-times world lightweight champion, Dingaan Thobela, who was in the capital for the fight, expressed his faith in the Hitman stealing the attention of the world. “We have a warrior who is right on the fingertips of being a World Champion,” he said. The Hitman looked set for a long night when he failed to stop Mutu in his favourite round, Round 6. The Namibian, in his surge to the title, has stunned most boxers in the 6th round, but against Mutu, the Romanian could not be a spent force that early. “He was quality opposition and could not be played around with,” observed Tobias. According to Thobela, the Hitman intelligently works on his thudding left hook and mixes in damaging body blows to take most of the middle rounds, hence he makes mincemeat of his opposition in around the sixth round.Thobela has won the lightweight division of the WBA, WBO, and the WBC. New Era understands that famous boxing promoters, Branco, this week invited the Hitman for a WBC Intercontinental Fight on September 1, but Nestor says it was too early to return to the ring. Nestor Tobias, however, believes he has managed to observe that the fighter has a lot to work on when it comes to physical fitness. “We do not want to ‘take part’ in the world title fight; we want to win it. So I will make sure that when the time is ripe, Hitman will go for the world title,” said Nesto hinting that it might not be that soon. The Namibian is expected back in the ring at the end of October. “We no longer have suitable African opposition. African fighters have nothing to offer us, and we will only fight them to improve on fitness, because he (Hitman) has to keep in shape. African fighters will only keep us busy, but we shall be working on better European opposition, before going for the World Title,” said an elated Tobias. Tobias says he was not happy with the referee’s decision to deduct a point from the Namibian in the 11th round, for clinching. However, in the last round, in front of an appreciative hometown crowd, the 61,23kg fighter looked like a bull in his last outing. Although tagged by some marshmallow punches from Mutu, the Namibian seemingly made the visitor aware of his ill-fated third attempt to win the Intercontinental title. The Hitman is now the Pan-African lightweight champion as well as the Intercontinental champion, and is now a top contender for the Sports Commission Sportsman of the Year award. Reigning Sportsman of the Year, 48kg Light Flyweight, Japhet Uutoni, is another fighter to win international tournaments after becoming the African Light fly champion last year.