by Tamas Pradarics
Former lightweight world champion Paulus Moses is preparing for one of the most important bouts of his fifteen-year career. The Namibian pugilist, who previously held the WBA regular title at 135 pounds between 2009 and 2010, will face dangerous Mexican-American Raymundo Beltran for the vacant WBO belt on an event promoted by Top Rank on February 16 in Reno, Nevada.
Moses (40-3-0-1, 25 KOs) already challenged this very title back in 2012 against Scotland’s Ricky Burns in Glasgow but came up short in a tactical 12-rounder.
Since then, the Namibian has won twelve of fourteen bouts with a close decision loss against veteran Malcolm Klassen as well as a No Decision caused by a deep cut from an accidental headbutt against Thompson Mokwana in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
The WBO title became vacant after unbeaten belt holder Terry Flanagan moved up north to the super lightweight division. Beltran (34-7-1-1, 21 KOs), who is preparing for his fourth shot at the title at lightweight, holds the No. 1 spot by the Puerto Rico-based sanctioning body. Moses follows him at No. 2.
”It has been a long time coming, and this opportunity is well deserved for Moses. He has been a great ambassador for the sport of boxing and to date [he is] Namibia’s most experienced fighter. He has been there, he knows how it feels to perform on such big occasions,” said Nestor Tobias, trainer and manager of the Windhoek-based fighter, to BoxingScene.com.
”We have been pushing for Moses to get this opportunity and thankfully things fell into place with Flanagan vacating the title. Moses is a former WBA lightweight world champion and he is super excited about fighting for a title again.”
Moses is a well-skilled boxer with experience while Beltran is a savvy ring veteran with calculated aggression and dynamite in both hands. On paper, this fight has the potential to deliver great action all the way while it lasts.
”We have different styles, but his style does not matter to me. The only fighter’s style you will admire on the night is that of Paulus Moses because he will be crowned as the new WBO lightweight world champion. Having said that I take nothing away from him, he comes into this fight with a lot of motivation but I will be ready for him,” said a confident Moses, who also sent a personal message to his hard-hitting foe.
”Ray Beltran, I am coming for you man so you better be ready for The Hitman because he does not miss!”