Freak knee injury ends Syafiq's title hopes
Freak knee injury ends local boxer's hopes of winning WBF Asia Pacific title
A night that promised so much for Syafiq "The Slasher" Abdul Samad ended in tears, at the Singapore Fighting Championship (SFC) 2 event in a packed Le Danz Ballroom on Queen Street.
The local professional boxer and mixed martial art (MMA) exponent had not tasted competitive action for over a year, and relished being top bill in SFC 2, where he was to compete in a Super Four tournament for the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Asia Pacific light-heavyweight title.
But the 22-year-old local favourite, cheered on by nearly 600 fans who had squeezed into the venue, was brought crashing down to earth after he suffered a freak knee injury just minutes into his fight against Malaysia's Ridzuan Dahari.
Despite trying to fight on, Syafiq eventually crumpled in a heap midway through the second round, and was unable to continue.
He was helped out of the ring by members of his Juggernaut Fight Club team and emergency medical staff on standby.
Syafiq was later taken to Singapore General Hospital, where his family members and close friends gathered.
The WBF Asia Pacific light-heavyweight title eventually went to Malaysian Hisyam Sims.
Syafiq, who had to undergo scans on suspected torn ligaments in his right knee, could not be reached for comment.
His fellow Juggernaut fighter Nurshahidah Roslie, though, had reason to celebrate when she triumphed over Malaysian Ella Tang by a unanimous decision.
In the process, the 28-year-old (below) also made history by becoming the first Singaporean woman to box professionally.
There was also reason for Singapore's national amateur boxers to smile, as all four who competed in SFC 2 last night triumphed in their respective bouts against Johor boxers.
The local quartet who were in action last night were middleweight Zakaria Zainal, light-welterweight Leong Jun Hao, flyweight Hanurdeen Hamid and welterweight Tay Jia Wei; the latter two won silver medals at last year's South-east Asia (SEA) Games on home soil.
In addition to the professional and amateur boxing bouts, there were also MMA and K1 kickboxing matches on the card of SFC 2.
Event organiser Arvind Lalwani was thrilled by last night's crowd, and said he was working to arrange more local fight sport competitions, with the next one possibly being in May.
"I'm extremely pleased with the turnout, I expected only around half," said the 35-year-old, who runs the Juggernaut Fight Club gym.
"I think what has happened is that I've given this avenue for local fighters to show what they can do, and judging from what (the fans) have seen tonight, they'll be very happy.
"Every fight was great. There was no bad fight."