SINGAPORE: Singaporean boxer Muhamad Ridhwan “The Chosen One” has become the country’s first professional world title holder.
The 29-year-old beat Tanzanian World Boxing Association (WBA) Pan African champion Fadhili Majiha via KO after four rounds, to win the Universal Boxing Organisation (UBO) world super-featherweight (58.97kg) title.
“I'm having a lot of mixed feelings right now, but most importantly I’m happy to be able to make the fans proud, the Singaporean people proud, and it’s an amazing feeling,” said Ridhwan after the bout. "I’m very honoured to give this victory to them.”
Coming into the title fight with seven wins in seven fights of his pro boxing career, Ridhwan overcame the odds in a tough contest against 23-year-old Majiha, who had 20 wins, eight losses and four draws prior to the bout.
It was an aggressive battle from the get-go by Ridhwan - part of his plan to "break down" his Tanzanian opponent.
“The plan was to (wear) him down round-by-round,” said Ridhwan. “(My team) knows that he’s fast and the intention was to go for his body, throw the jabs and disrupt his rhythm. Only then would I go for his openings."
"True enough, he made a mistake in the fourth round in which he took the last 10 seconds to rest, and so I capitalised."
"(My team) knows that if we're (to) follow the game plan, the knock-out would come eventually. The trick is to never look for it, eventually it will come," he added.
According to Ridhwan, the vocal home support helped his confidence. “The crowd was amazing. It was as if they were playing a computer game as they kept shouting: 'Throw more punches!'."
"It definitely helped as the plan was to push forward and impose my will and skill on the opponent. The cheering certainly motivated me along the way,” said the Legends Fight Sport gym owner.
His victory in the co-main event of Roar of Singapore II at Resorts World Sentosa means that Ridhwan, a three-time SEA Games bronze medallist, has now won his second professional title belt in seven weeks.
The Singaporean pugilist also won the World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia super-featherweight title last month, after beating Indonesia’s Waldo Sabu at the Singapore Fighting Championship’s “Combat Redefined” event at Foochow Building.
“I’m now going to take a short break, have some prata and think of what’s next with my trainer and manager," added Ridhwan. "Hopefully it's onward to more big fights and big promotions."
Having contemplated quitting boxing for good at one point in his career, the 29-year-old said that he is happy to have made the right choice to stay. "I'm very glad that I stayed on with the sport, as (back then) every day was a constant struggle to consider whether or not to continue or to stop boxing."
He added: "With support from everyone, my sponsors PSB Academy and my gym members, it has been a great journey and let’s hope for more success."