Maselino Masoe: “This is my last chance”

25.04.04 – By Tony Nobbs – West Samoan born banger Maselino Masoe flies out to Miami this morning for his vacant WBA middleweight title shot against Kenyan born Dane Evans Ashira on May 1. Masoe, 38 in June, is now under Australian trainer Noel Thornberry and has been staying in the Queensland town of Gatton since Easter. With a record of 25-2, 24 KO Masoe will enter the fight as an underdog but the three time Olympian –twice quarter finalist- from Auckland, New Zealand said last week that “this is my last chance!”

Masoe has fought in the US on eight occasions-being based there in 1999-2000 and scored knockouts over winning fighters Sam Hill, Lionel Ortiz, David Lopez and Tim Shocks. He also suffered his two defeats -to Santiago Samaniego (injury) and Tito Mendoza (TKO3).

While his competition since has been very ordinary he has won seven straight and the humble father of four is pleased being the outsider. “It is all good. I am fighting to win for my people and my family. Winning a world title will give me more chances. I have seen tape of him (Ashira) and I know he will fight hard- this is for the WBA title. We will fight. I know what I can do and it does not bother me what anyone thinks or say. We will find out in the ring. I am very comfortable with Noel. He is a good, honest man and I’m happy to have come over here. This will help me in the fight. I’m not going to make a prediction. I will let other people do that”.

Thornberry predicted “an absolute war” on May 1. “At some stage Mase is going to catch this guy and it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts. Ashira will have a fight on his hands”.