Boxer Ridhwan gets shot at world title
Multi-time SEA Games medallist could become Singapore's first world pro boxing champion
Fresh off his World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia super featherweight title victory at the Singapore Fighting Championship 5 event on Saturday, local professional boxer Muhamad Ridhwan already has another target in his sights.
The 29-year-old, who is undefeated in seven fights, will vie for the vacant Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) World super featherweight title next month, at the Roar of Singapore II event at Resorts World Sentosa.
He will face Tanzania's WBA Pan African Champion Fadhili Majiha (20 wins, eight losses, four draws), who is the 79th-ranked super bantamweight fighter in the world.
If Ridhwan wins, he will be Singapore's first world professional boxing champion.
While the UBO is not one of the world's major boxing promotions, it is regarded as a prestigious body and counts American great Roy Jones Jr as a former champion.
Ridhwan, who went into his bout on Saturday as the 187th-ranked super featherweight fighter, is looking forward to using Majiha as a yardstick of his progress.
"This will be a big fight but, to me, the title on the line is a bonus," said the former national amateur boxer.
"I'm more motivated by the challenge of fighting a tough opponent in Fadhili.
"He will be a good test for me, to see where I stand."
Roar of Singapore organiser Scott O'Farrell has no doubt Ridhwan is ready for the challenge.
"To me, Ridhwan is the finished article," said the Briton, who owns Ringstar Management.
"In terms of his boxing skills, the way he moves and as a person, he's ready for a shot like this.
"It looks like it'll be a very tough fight for Ridhwan, but both him and (his trainer) Rey Caitom Jr said it was a great way for them to test themselves, and I'm so proud they took up the challenge."
Ridhwan's bout will be one of four UBO world title bouts at the Roar of Singapore II event.
Elsewhere on the card, Canada's Ryan Ford will defend his world light heavyweight title against New Zealander Robert Berridge, while Australian Chad Bennett will take on Thailand's Banlue Sawangwong for the vacant world super lightweight title.
One of the highlights of the night will be the clash for the vacant world super middleweight title between former WBA world champion Manny Siaca of Puerto Rico and Australian Renold Quinlan, who unsuccessfully challenged for Briton Chris Eubank Jr's International Boxing Organization world title fight in London two months ago.
While he could make history on May 27, Ridhwan, who is a gym owner and trainer, said he hasn't had time to digest Saturday's triumph when The New Paper spoke to him yesterday.
When asked how he felt a day after his WBA Asia title win, he said: "It's still sinking in.
"I've been receiving congratulatory messages non-stop on my mobile phone and Facebook, but I haven't had time to let the win sink in because I had work.
"But, for sure, winning the title felt good. It felt like I've really accomplished something, not just for me... I feel like the whole Singapore boxing community won last night."