09 Oct 2016 12:50pm
WINDHOEK, 09 OCT (NAMPA) - Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses retained his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa Lightweight title after beating Tanzanias Cosmas Cheka via a fifth-round technical knockout (TKO) albeit under somewhat controversial circumstances here on Saturday.
The Namibian started slowly but improved as the fight went on, catching Cheka with some hard punches. The Tanzanian moved well and managed to stay out of trouble most of the time.
Cheka, who had promised to send Moses to retirement, looked likely to keep his promise when he caught the Namibian with a right hook which sent him to the canvas in the second round.
Moses got up and received an eight count. That seemed to wake him up as he from then on took control of the fight, countering Cheka's movement by creating little space for the Tanzanian in the ring.
In the fourth round, the Namibian rocked the Tanzanian with a couple of body and head punches but not much damage was done.
The decisive moment came in the fifth round. Moses had the Tanzanian trapped in the corner and attacked with several body and head shots. The Tanzanian seemed to be protecting himself well from the shots, but referee Clifford Mbelu from South Africa saw otherwise and stopped the fight in two minutes and two seconds, with the partisan crowd rupturing in applause.
The decision by the referee did not go down well with Cheka and his corner who immediately confronted him, questioning why he stopped the fight. Cheka indicated that none of the punches had done any damage on him and he was still able to continue fighting, but the fight official was having none of it and stopped the fight as a TKO.
After the fight, Moses said his corner had played a pivotal role in securing the TKO as they advised him to reduce Cheka's movement in the ring.
He did not want to fight, he kept running all over in the first two or three rounds. When we made space small for him in the fourth and fifth round, he could not handle me. My corner did a brilliant job. For the record, I am not retiring, said a visibly happy Moses.
On the knock-down he suffered, he said that punch did not make any damage.
I was stepping back and he caught me mid-air, so I fell. I did not feel that punch at all, Moses said.
Cheka's coach Robert Matthew said the referee stopped the fight prematurely.
He could have waited and maybe gave an eight count on Cheka, or maybe even assess him if he can continue. But he was right to stop the fight as my boxer was not really protecting himself from the punches or fighting back. What the referee did was within the laws of boxing, he concluded.
Moses now has an impressive record of 42 fights, 38 wins, three losses and one no-contest, and Cheka has 28 fights, 17 wins, six losses and five draws.