Boxing: Muhamad Ridhwan ready for top-level training with Mayweather Boxing Club

Muhamad Ridhwan, Singapore's first-ever boxing world champion, will head to Las Vegas next Monday for a 26-day training stint at the Mayweather Boxing Club.
Muhamad Ridhwan, Singapore's first-ever boxing world champion, will head to Las Vegas next Monday for a 26-day training stint at the Mayweather Boxing Club.ST PHOTO: TERRENCE CHUA

SINGAPORE - It might have taken a few months of planning and negotiation, but a simple "yes" on a phone call with Scott O'Farrell a fortnight ago was all that was needed for Muhamad Ridhwan to seal a rare opportunity to train at the Mayweather Boxing Club.

The Republic's first-ever boxing world champion had agreed with the founder of local fight sports management and promoter, Ringstar Management, to fly to Las Vegas next Monday (Aug 7) to prepare for his upcoming International Boxing Organisation (IBO) Intercontinental title bout.

"Not everyday a regular guy can be given an opportunity to train with one of the best boxing team that's active right now," said Ridhwan. "There are current and former world champions, as well as prospects there. I want to see how the top-level guys train and it'll be a good learning experience to see where I stand."

At the non-public gym led by president and prominent boxer Floyd Mayweather, he will train under legendary American trainer Otis Pimpleton, who produced fighters including the unbeaten Juan Heraldez with 12 wins and no draws, and seasoned fighter Lanell Bellows (16 wins, three losses, one draw).

Despite facing his toughest training routine yet, the boxer of 13 years is relishing the 22-day stint which will put him through twice-daily training in various areas, including sparring and pad work.

He said: "I'm looking forward to it. It's not just about getting experience, it's also to show that I can hold my own at a high level.

"To be in that scene, it's a whole different level. To be training with them and surrounding myself with such athletes, it'll motivate me to improve myself."

Ridhwan's trip will be sponsored by Ringstar, and the organisation in turn will be looking for prospective co-sponsors.

When he returns to Singapore, the current Universal Boxing Organisation world super featherweight champion will challenge for the vacant IBO Intercontinental title.

The 29-year-old will face South Africa's Koos Sibiya at the Roar of Singapore III at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre on Oct 20.

"There's been an exchange of words, but I'm feeling confident," said Ridhwan. "I predict it's going to be a knockout in less than eight rounds."