Imms Moses, the trainer of Namibia’s veteran boxer Vikapita ‘Beast Master’ Meroro, yesterday rubbished claims that Meroro has become a money-making punching bag, and that the time is ripe for the fighter to hang up his gloves.
Meroro, whose record further depreciated to 14 loses and 30 wins from 44 professional fights, on Sunday suffered his third straight defeat in as many when he was stopped by Russia’s Umar Salamov in the first round of their cruiserweight fight at the Basket Hall Arena in Kazan,
It was an early victory for the Russian former champion, who sent Meroro tumbling with a devasting left hook to the ribs.
The Namibian, who was laying on the canvas grappling in pain, failed to beat the referee’s count – and eventually saw Salamov being declared the winner.
The once-revered Meroro’s career has in the past few years been on a sharp decline following a sting of knockout defeats, especially against fighters from the European circuit.
This has led local boxing fans and pundits to suggest that it is time for the 37-year-old Meroro to hang up his gloves, as he has become an embarrassing money-making punching bag, who is putting the country’s national flag to shame time and again.
But his trainer Moses strongly disagrees with assertions of the fans and pundits, saying such jests against Meroro are misplaced and uninformed, as the fighter still has more left in his ageing arsenal.
“Meroro lost against a very tough opponent, who only has two defeats. He [Meroro] will bounce back, as I have him a return fight at home for him. The date will be announced soon; local fans will soon finally get to see him fight live after a long time. Don’t worry about public opinions. Boxing needs Meroro and the world knows that he is one good fighter. If he was not a good fighter, he wouldn’t have gotten all these chances to fight aboard. So many fighters need these opportunities, but ask yourself why Meroro always?” said Moses as he defended his fighter.
Moses, who heads the AC Boxing Promotions, added that: “I’m proud of all the guys I represent because these are guys I grew up with, and I will always be there for them.”
At his peak, Meroro was once upon a time the holder of the WBO Africa cruiserweight interim title and the WBO Africa light heavyweight belt.