Local boxers knock out more experienced fighters
Three fights, three technical knockouts.
Local professional boxers impressed last night by beating their Philippine rivals at the Singapore Fighting Championship (SFC) event at the Ground Theatre at *Scape in Orchard.
Watched by about 300 spectators, Nurshahidah Roslie, Singapore's only woman pro boxer, beat Krisna Limbaga after just 93 seconds with a flurry of hard shots to the body.
Late bloomer Rafi Majid, who made his pro debut in April at the age of 36, needed just 84 seconds to post his third win in three fights by beating Arnold Garcia, who had six fights under his belt heading into last night's event.
Ridhwan Ahmad found his opponent, Jonel Borbon, more durable but still inflicted enough damage to the 19-fight boxer inside three rounds, to make him retire on his stool before the start of the fourth.
SFC chief promoter Arvind Lalwani was delighted with the progress the local boxers have made in the last eight months.
"You can see they are more accustomed to the (pro boxing) programme now," he said.
"They're making a name for themselves and are right up there in the South-east Asian boxing scene.
"Tonight, they fought guys who had more pro experience than them but they showed their talent.
"They are progressing at a good pace and I'm confident there'll be a lot of opportunities for them over the next six months or so."
Lalwani had previously predicted to TNP that the trio might be in line for opportunities to challenge for a regional World Boxing Organisation (WBO) or a World Boxing Association (WBA) title soon.
Despite their emphatic wins, Shahidah and Rafi were content to bide their time.
Said Shahidah, who is the current Universal Boxing Organisation (UBO) Female Intercontinental super-featherweight champion: "My ultimate aim is to get belts and win championships.
"But in order to get there, the main thing I have to gun for now is self-progress."
Rafi said: "Regardless of the number of fights my opponent has, I just go into fights thinking about how much I can learn and progress.
"Every fighter wants to fight for titles, but I'll let my coach (Lalwani) judge... It's better for someone from the outside looking in."
Three-time South-east Asia (SEA) Games bronze medallist Ridhwan, meanwhile, used last night's occasion to draw attention to child abuse.
After reading about the tragic death of two-year-old Mohamad Daniel Mohamad Naseer in The New Paper in July, he penned the message "Report child abuse 1800-777 0000" (the phone number of the Child Protective Service helpline) with a black marker on his bare back.
Little Daniel died last November after horrific torture by his mother and her boyfriend, who were sentenced to 11 and 10 years' jail, respectively.
Explained Ridhwan: "The news came out when I was preparing for this fight, so I wanted to do something to raise awareness.
"It was the idea of one of my sponsors, AlphaFit."
The 28-year-old said he was satisfied with his win and added he aims to become a 10-round fighter by the end of the year.
Last night's bout was scheduled for six rounds and stopped after three, but was the longest he had fought.
Ridhwan also reiterated the challenge he had for another local pro boxer, 38-year-old Nor Rizan, who is rumoured to be making a comeback after four years.
"If he wants to make a comeback, he knows this is the fight for him," said Ridhwan.
"Not some other easier fight. I believe our fight will be good for local boxing fans."
Another good cause was supported last night, with $5 from each ticket going to Parkinson's Society Singapore.