Moshoeshoe punches his way to world stage

MASERU — Mokhachane Moshoeshoe, 18, can be the next Moses Kopo — that is according to his coach Liphalo Moeketsi.

The young boxer this week returned from a month-long stint in Italy.

Moshoeshoe was initially at an International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) training camp held from August 10 to 26.

The 15-day “Road to Milan” camp was in preparation for the AIBA World Championships which started on September 1 and ended last Saturday in the Italian capital.

The welter-weight was one of 94 boxers from 66 developing countries chosen by AIBA and the programme not only provided training experience but supported the boxers for the entirety of the championships as well.

“The main aim of the training camp was to train the boxers  and coaches under conditions similar to the world championships,” Moeketsi told the Lesotho Times on Monday.

The two-week session included sparring matches.

“The matches played a huge part. It was similar to a championship format, every fighter fought a different fighter every day until a final match,” Moeketsi said. “That is where Moshoeshoe really excelled. His only loss came against a boxer from Lithuania. He beat one from Costa Rica, Latvia and Togo.”

Moshoeshoe didn’t progress past the first round of the World Championships, losing to Ghanaian fighter Lawson Frederic. But Moeketsi was heartened by his boxer’s showing.

“I’m satisfied with his performance,” Moeketsi said. “He did very well and I think Moshoeshoe can be the next Kopo.” Kopo won silver at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The next target for Moshoeshoe is next year’s Commonwealth Games in India.

“We have a tournament that we have been invited to on October 15 in Estonia. It is in order to continue the work done at the Road to Milan camp. Estonia will cover all the expenses except for the air tickets,” he said.

“We are preparing for the Commonwealth Games apart from the programme.”

Moeketsi said he had confidence in the newly elected Lesotho Amateur Boxing Association committee.

“The association has a vision. With the committee that is here you will see the best from boxing,” Moeketsi said.

“There are a lot of boxers and we have a good team it just that we are a underprivileged nation,” he added.

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