Three Singapore boxers pack a punch for tonight's SFC event
Reputation, redemption and a good impression at stake for three local boxers respectively tonight
Three local pro boxers will step into the ring at the Singapore Fighting Championships (SFC) 6: Rise of Legends event tonight with distinctly different motivations.
One will be looking to burnish a growing reputation, another is aiming for redemption, while a third is relishing the prospect of a dream debut at the Le Danz ballroom in Queen Street.
For power puncher Rafi "The Ruffian" Majid, his bout against Indonesia's Maxi Nahak (seven wins, 13 losses and three draws) for the WBC Asia Silver Super Middleweight Championship is a chance to enhance his reputation as a knockout artist.
Rafi has won all five of his fights since turning professional in April last year, with stoppages.
But the diving instructor knows he is in for a tough night against Maxi, who knocked out South Korean Eun Chung Lee in Seoul two months ago to win the WBC Asia Silver middleweight title.
"He knocked out the South Korean in the third round, so he's definitely got punching power," said the 36-year-old Singaporean.
"And he did it in Seoul, so he has experience fighting in front of a hostile (home) crowd."
Having left all five of his previous opponents staring up at the lights, Rafi has a mean right hand, too.
"I think my stubborn attitude, when it comes to fighting, helps me generate a lot of intensity in my punches," he said, with a smile.
"Furthermore, I was in heavier weight classes previously, so maybe I managed to retain some of my power from before."
In February, Rafi became Singapore's first male boxing champion after he won the Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) super middleweight Asia Pacific title.
FIRST PRO CHAMP
Eight months before that, fellow Juggernaut Fight Club boxer Nurshahidah "The Sniper" Roslie became the Republic's first professional boxing champion when she won the UBO super featherweight intercontinental title.
But, in her second challenge for a title last November, Shahidah was cut down by New Zealand's Gentiane Lupi in their bout for the WBA Oceania female super featherweight title.
So even though two belts will be on the line tonight, Shahidah sees her bout at SFC 6 against Thailand's Siriphon Chanbuala (12-4-2) as a chance to exorcise the ghosts of her title defeat 10 months ago.
The pair will vie for two vacant titles - the WBC Asia Featherweight Championship and the Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation Silver Featherweight Championship.
Shahidah, who has bounced back with consecutive non-title wins over Thai rivals in February and April, believes she has benefited from the loss to Lupi.
The 29-year-old, who is managing director of the Juggernaut Studio gym at Boat Quay, knows a win over 24-year-old Siriphon would open doors on the international stage.
She said: "So I want to win and win convincingly, and show a Singaporean boxer has what it takes to get in the ring with some of the best in the world."
A third Singaporean in action tonight is simply hoping to make a good first impression.
Muhammad Ashiq, 22, will be making his professional boxing debut against Indonesian Ramly Pasaribu (4-11-0).
In March, Ashiq, 22, won the featherweight title in muay thai kickboxing at the World Association of Kickboxing Organisation Arnold Classic & Oceania Championships in Melbourne.
But he believes his boxing is better than his kickboxing as he started out with boxing first.