It was unclear where Paulus Moses' career was heading during his current win streak following his title fight loss to Ricky Burns three years.
Whatever plans were in store, the milk has gone bad after the fighting pride of Namibia was upended Friday evening at home by fellow former titlist Malcolm Klassen.
The aforementioned seven-fight win streak was comprised of opponents precisely like Klassen - notable fighters, some even ex-titlists against whom Moses could shine. Friday's headliner in Windhoek, Namibia started out that way, as Moses - despite getting hit more often than usual - managed to floor the normally durable Klassen in round three.
However, the local favorite soon realized he had a fight on his hand. Klassen regrouped and manage to drop Moses midway through the bout. The sequence proved to be the turning point, as the visiting South Africa pulled in his biggest win in years.
Scores of 118-110, 115-110 and 113-112 came in for Klassen (29-6-2, 15KOs), who has won two straight but has been largely inactive in recent years. Just six fights have followed his 130 lb. title losing effort to Robert Guerrero in Aug. '09, now 5-1 over that stretch.
Meanwhile, Moses is forced to take inventory of his 13-year career. The 36-year old former titlist falls to 35-3 (22KOs). The loss was his first since coming up short in a title bid versus Burns on the road in Scotland just over three years ago. Included among his previous win streak were victories over former titlists Cassius Baloyi and Mzonke Fana.
On the undercard, former bantamweight title challenger Immanuel Naidjala returned to the win column with a 3rd round stoppage of overmatched ring novice John Masamba. Naidjala (20-2-1, 13KOs) has now won three of his last four following a Dec. '13 title fight loss to unbeaten Tomoki Kameda on the road in Japan.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox