Boxing: Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses and Raymundo Beltran Fight for their Country | Kwesé

Boxing: Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses and Raymundo Beltran Fight for their Country

Boxing: Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses and Raymundo Beltran Fight for their Country

15:30 SAST | 12 Feb 2018

WBO Lightweight Title Fight: Raymundo Beltran vs Paulus Moses (Kwesé Sports 2, 17 February at 4:30 CAT).

America's President Donald Trump faced a barrage of criticism when allegedly referring to African nations as "s---hole countries". The reality star turned politician has shown ignorance before about Africa, referring to Namibia as Nambia, an interesting combination of Zambia and Namibia but, as of yet, not a real country.  

Trump's controversial attitude to immigrants, and non-Americans in general, excites his conservative support base. Those opposed to him point out that America was built by immigrants and that law-abiding, hard-working people from other parts of the world should be welcome there.

Come 17 February 4:30 CAT (KS2) two non-Americans will fight in America for the WBO Lightweight Title. Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses hails from a tiny village in northern Namibia (not 'Nambia') called Okapya, near the town of Oshikuku, which even Donald Trump would be forgiven for not knowing about. According to Google Maps the most important feature of Oshikuku is a Pep store. However, the good residents of that town would probably prefer to be known as the home of a boxing world champion. Moses's humble hometown is worlds apart from the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada, where he'll do battle with Mexican Raymundo Beltran.

As if winning your first world title were not motivation enough, Beltran has a few extra reasons to see off Moses. If Trump had his way, Beltran would not be where he is today - living in Phoenix, Arizona with this wife and children - he'd be stuck in his home-country behind a massive wall. Beltran is currently applying for a green card to allow him to remain in the US. Becoming world champion would bolster his cause. "I believe God has plans for everybody. I believe this is it for me and my team, to become a world champion at this point, not just for me but for all the hard-working people, especially immigrants, who come to this great nation to make their dreams come true, working hard and never giving up."

For Moses pride in one's nation is also an inspirational theme. Namibia is a country of only two million people and it's fair to say that 'The Hitman' is a big fish in a small pond.  But he's not too big to acknowledge his helpers: "I have had a blessed boxing career and all thanks to everybody who supported me over the years." Moses (40-3) has fought most of his fights in Namibia. He'll be carrying the soul of the country with him when he steps in the ring come 17 February. "I am honoured to have recently been inducted as a MTC Sports Legend, the highest sports honour in Namibia, and now an amazing opportunity to fight Beltran, who I highly regard and, of course, an opportunity for me to become world champion again. I look forward to this fight and doing my country proud once again."

Ideas of 'nation' and 'nationalism' are increasingly contested notions. Is a country defined by its borders, or by dreams of opportunity and self-improvement? In these confusing times we can, at least, seek refuge in the simplicity of a fair fight between two evenly-matched contenders.

WBO Lightweight Title Fight: Raymundo Beltran vs Paulus Moses (Kwesé Sports 2, 17 February at 4:30 CAT).

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