Moore in a hurry to be a world champion

By Patrick Johnston

Moore, 31, won a unanimous points decision over Indonesian Marangin Marbun in Singapore Saturday, leaving him potentially one victory away from a showdown with WBA super-bantamweight champion Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym.

The shy Moore's route to victory in the city state at the weekend was an unlikely one.

In a career which he says has been mis-managed, a meeting with American journalist-turned-promoter Scott Mallon last year gave him new hope of achieving his ambition to become a world champion after he thought the chance had passed.

Moore (28-2) was 28 years old when he slumped to a controversial split-decision defeat by Timur Shailezov in Kyrgyzstan three years ago.

"I went to Russia and the management I had then were not looking after my interests because taking me to Russia was a bad mistake," Moore told Reuters. "I fought a good fight but I didn't get the decision.

Moore went and fought at home and elsewhere in the Caribbean six times, knocking out all of his opponents, as he regained his belief and love of the sport and earned his nickname from fans who grew used to seeing him finish off his fights quickly.

THAI VISA

By the time Moore agreed to fight Mauricio Pastrana of Colombia, the Bangkok-based Mallon had been tipped off about a slick but underrated fighter who could be available to sign to his new promotion company Top Rated.

Mallon flew to Georgetown, Guyana, watched Moore prevail over 12 rounds to claim a unanimous decision and liked what he saw.

Mallon rearranged flights in order to continue negotiations and complete the deal for the fighter and, after a minor hitch in Brazil trying to get Moore a visa for Thailand, the two men left for Bangkok.

"It was a surprise," Moore said. "Never had I had the belief that someone was coming from Thailand to sign me up."

So Moore left behind his four children, all under the age of 10, to go to Bangkok and move into the newly built Top Rated gym where he also resides.

"It is one of the best gyms I have ever trained in, it has great equipment. I live in the gym and all I think about is training. I trained on my birthday, I trained on Christmas morning, I trained on Boxing Day, New Year's Day," Moore said.

"It is not good for family and friends that know you and are used to seeing you but it is a job and it has to be done. When I can call it a day all my time will be for the family, there will be no Thailand or Singapore, just all family, but now it's job."

TITLE Defense

Mallon is confident that the move to Asia can help Moore to achieve his dream and emulate the success of his compatriots Gairy St. Clair, Andrew Lewis, Vivian Harris, Wayne Braithwaite and Dennis Andries who all became world champions.

"In Guyana they do not have a lot of opportunities so it is difficult for them to get somewhere," Mallon said.

"He is number six in the world (rated by the WBC), we feel we can get him to the world championship, that's the big difference.

What chance does Moore think he has against the heavy hands of Poonsawat?

"I have seen two tapes of him," Moore said. "One when he beat Bernard Dunne and in his last fight in Japan. To me he got tired; you have to be a very strong fighter. I have a lot of movements and I think I can do it.

"I didn't get the opportunity to be an Olympic champion so I have focused on becoming a world champion, that's where my focus lies. If there is an opportunity for me, I can do it."

(Editing by Clare Fallon)