Vikapita 'Beast Master' Meroro and Nelson Hysa facing off at the weigh-in ahead of their fight. Photo:
Vikapita 'Beast Master' Meroro and Nelson Hysa facing off at the weigh-in ahead of their fight. Photo:

Another heavyweight knock-out for Meroro

Andrew Poolman
'The Albanian Iron First' Nelson Hysa proved too big and too strong for Namibian challenger Vikapira Meroro on his way to winning the vacant UBO international heavyweight belt in the eastern European country’s capital Tirana on Friday night.

The 37-year-old Namibian, well past his best, was knocked out after one minute in round three by the naturally bigger and taller Albanian (38).

Meroro rarely threw power punches and chose to mainly fight from the back foot against the heavy-fisted Hysa, rather using his jabs, movement or clinching to stay out of trouble.

In the final action of the fight, the Namibian took a straight left jab to the chin and as he ducked forward, he was hit with a right hand to the side of the head which made his legs buckle as he collapsed to the canvas.

The referee sent Hysa to the neutral corner and took a brief look at Meroro before he called the fight off without a count.

Calls to retire

The massively experienced Meroro was expected to present difficulties for the local hero in what was his first 10-round bout, but Hysa quickly found his rhythm as the Namibian seemed to struggle to compete in the heavyweight division.

Meroro, now with 46 fights (30 wins and 16 losses), is just one fight behind former WBA lightweight champion Paulus 'Hitman' Moses as the Namibian with the most fights as a professional – although the latter retired with more wins than any other countryman (40-7).

Back in Namibia, Meroro is likely to be criticised by armchair critics for resisting calls for his retirement as he went down in his sixth successive loss, while winning only three of his last 14 fights since 2015. The latest defeat was also the 10th time he was knocked out as a professional.

The second half of his career has spoiled an otherwise respectable run as a former WBO African titleholder at light heavyweight and challenger to some of the best in the division.

Meanwhile, Hysa’s fight and breakthrough title is being hailed as one of the most significant for the sport in Albania.

With an unbeaten 7-0 professional record, all in less than one year, his camp is looking to secure his next fight in the United States of America.


Allgemeine Zeitung 2023-06-07

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