Ridhwan's up for overseas title defence
A training camp in Vegas or the Philippines, and then a China bout, beckons for local boxer
The dust has barely settled from his International Boxing Organization (IBO) international super featherweight title win on Friday night, but unbeaten local professional boxer Muhamad Ridhwan already knows his next challenge - a title defence in China.
The 29-year-old, who extended his record to nine wins after beating Namibia's Nataneal Sebastian with a unanimous decision in their fight at the Roar of Singapore III event at the Suntec Convention Centre three days ago, will face a challenger for his belt in Dalian in February. His opponent is not yet confirmed.
The fight will be Ringstar Management's - the organiser of Roar of Singapore - first event outside Singapore.
Ringstar founder and chief executive officer Scott O'Farrell believes a successful title defence for Ridhwan in China would help the Singaporean take a big step towards his goal of earning a world title shot.
"I have a few opponents in mind, but he will face someone in the top 80," O'Farrell told The New Paper.
"Ridhwan is currently ranked 58th and when the rankings are updated soon, I think he could go up to 48th or 49th.
I know my pro boxing journey will take me many places, some of which will be tough and hostile, but I have a job to do.Local boxer Muhamad Ridhwan
"A successful title defence in China would put him in the top 35 in the world, and with another two or three wins, his record would be 12-0 or 13-0.
"If the momentum is good, he feels he is ready, and we (O'Farrell, Ridhwan and his coach Rey Caitom Jr) feel it is the right time, I will push for him to get a world title shot."
Ridhwan trained for 21 days at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas - owned by boxing megastar Floyd Mayweather Jr - in August and O'Farrell accompanied him towards the end of his camp there.
Just over a month later, a mass shooting took place in the city, killing 58 people and wounding over 500 others.
As a mark of respect, Ringstar conducted a 10-bell salute before the professional fights kicked off on Friday night.
Famed American boxing trainer Otis Pimpleton, who worked with Ridhwan in the United States, was one of those who appreciated the gesture.
The 50-year-old flew into Singapore to throw his support behind Ridhwan, and he told The New Paper he was keen to work with "The Chosen Wan" ahead of his next fight.
O'Farrell, however, said a decision has not been made on Ridhwan's next training camp destination.
The Briton said his fighter could either return for a second stint in Vegas, or head to Manny Pacquiao's gym in General Santos City, to get in shape for his fight in China.
Ridhwan said he was looking forward to what would be only his second professional fight outside Singapore - the other was his debut in Cebu, the Philippines.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge," he said.
"I have to be able to be comfortable fighting anywhere, not just on my home ground.
"I know my pro boxing journey will take me many places, some of which will be tough and hostile, but I have a job to do.
"I'm ready, and I know (fighting in China) is not something I'm going to be shocked by."