Namibia is a country rich in natural resources. Paulus “The Hitman” Moses is one of her many treasures.
Moses has been boxing professionally since 2002. To put that in perspective, that was the year Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson finally threw down. During those 16 years, he became one of the best lightweights in the world, capturing the WBA World title in 2009.
Moses, (40-3, 25 KO’s), is showing no signs of slowing down, even at 39. And still seeking new challenges to conquer. On February 16, he’ll meet the dangerous Raymundo Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KO’s) for the WBO World lightweight title in Reno, Nevada. A win would leapfrog him past Azumah Nelson as the second oldest African to win a world title. More important, it means further glory for his beloved Namibia. More than anything, that’s what drives Moses. BoxingAfrica.com caught up with the African great as he winds down camp for yet another big fight.
Paulus, thank you for taking time out to speak to us. You were recently honored by MTC Sunshine Promotions for your achievement in the sport of boxing. Tell us what that means to you?
It was such an honour, I never expected this because all I ever wanted to do was boxing. The honours and accolades are just a bonus. It’s a beautiful tailor made gold ring designed just for me. I am proud of my achievements, that of Namibian boxing and look forward to another world title fight.
The country of Namibia, with less than three million people, has produced so many world class champions and contenders. As someone who has been boxing professionally for 16 years, can you offer insight as to how this has happened?
It is a combination of hard work, dedication and importantly, talent. I think Namibia naturally has talented boxers despite our small population. We also have very passionate boxing fans. You will for instance find more people at a boxing match then at a soccer match or any other sport for that matter. We are simply blessed in that regard.
You’ve got a chance to pick up another world title on February 16. How has camp been so far?
Camp has been great so far. I am happy with the time I had to prepare and with my entire preparation. I feel fit and I am mentally and physically prepared for this fight. I will go in the ring and fight like this is my first and last fight, that is how much it means to me.
Give us your thoughts on Raymundo Beltran – strengths, weaknesses?
His strengths and weaknesses are well taken care of and imbedded in our strategy when facing him. We did a lot of research on him, we have different styles of boxing and this will most definitely be a fight to watch. He should however be very worried about facing me because I am not coming to play games, I am coming to win.
How do you attack someone like him – a veteran fighter with KO power?
If we are to go on veteran status then I am more superior then him, if we are to go on experience then I will be first, I have been there before, been a world champion before and faced so many opponents at home and away. I am not worried about his power or experience because I am coming with my own surprises.
Floyd Mayweather often spoke about working smarter, not harder, in the gym as he got older. Do you find yourself making those same kinds of adjustments to training?
Look, that’s a general statement, and you have to pace yourself based on your own circumstances and mental and physical condition. I am 39 but I move like a 20-year-old, I still punch like I’m 24.
What motivates you at this stage?
The love for the sport of boxing and the love of representing my beautiful country. That is what wakes me up at night, to be the very best I can be and knowing that I have given it my all with no regrets.
How important is it for you to bring the world title back home to Namibia?
Let me put it this way, winning the fight is more important than bringing the belt home. A win for me is a win for Namibia and the legacy of boxing in Namibia. We are disadvantaged in so many ways compared to the rest of the world with all the resources at their feet, so when opportunities like this one comes for us every 5 or 10 years we need to grab it with both hands.
How much longer do you wish to continue boxing?
I still have a lot of boxing in me, but I can of course not fight forever, I will see how things go but I will continue to fight until my body allows me to.
Give us your prediction for February 16th.
And the new WBO Lightweight champion, Paulus “The Hitman” Moses. That’s how it will go down at the end of the fight.
And in closing, is there anything you want to say to your fans in Namibia, Africa and all over the world?
I want to thank all my fans in Namibia and across the world for all the support they have shown me and Namibian boxing and African boxing in general.