2017 Yearender: The sports desk's picks - 18 of our favourite moments

Belt up, what a ride to the top

Singapore pro boxer Muhamad Ridhwan celebrating after winning the Universal Boxing Organisation world super-featherweight title at Resorts World Sentosa on May 27.
Singapore pro boxer Muhamad Ridhwan celebrating after winning the Universal Boxing Organisation world super-featherweight title at Resorts World Sentosa on May 27.ST FILE PHOTO

Four years ago, I watched amateur boxer Muhamad Ridhwan slug it out in a dimly lit, dusty arena in Myanmar that resembled the one in cult 80s movie Bloodsport.

Seven months ago, I watched the 30-year-old become Singapore's first professional boxing world champion, surrounded by glitz and bright lights in the biggest ballroom at Resorts World Sentosa.

It has been a roller-coaster journey for Ridhwan in the last few years. So it was heartening to see him bask in the adulation of his fellow Singaporeans with the Universal Boxing Organisation world super-featherweight title around his waist that night in May.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2017, with the headline 'Belt up, what a ride to the top'. Print Edition | Subscribe