Boxing: More than just a belt at stake for Singaporeans Alexandrew David, Hamzah Farouk in WBC Asia title fight

Singapore's Alexandrew David (left) and Hamzah Farouk, who will be competing at The Ring Fighting Championship VI on Friday (April 12).
Singapore's Alexandrew David (left) and Hamzah Farouk, who will be competing at The Ring Fighting Championship VI on Friday (April 12).PHOTOS: THE RING BOXING COMMUNITY, SOUZANNE NASSER / FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Alexandrew David dreams of making his mark in professional boxing, but only on his own terms.

The Singaporean faces Frenchman Abdelelah Karroum for the WBC Asia silver interim super welterweight titlesuper welterweight title at The Ring Fighting Championship (TRFC) VI on Friday (April 12) night, knowing he has to make the most of the opportunity.

After all, the bout will only be David's sixth since turning pro in November 2016. This is largely because David, whose headstrong attitude has resulted in clashes of opinions, has not signed with any of the four main Singapore-based boxing promoters.

The 28-year-old, who has four wins and a draw, said: "At the end of the day, promoters are the ones who make fights for you, and there have been a few times I disagree with how promoters in Singapore do things.

"I'm the one putting my body on the line when I step into the ring, so I feel I have a right to dictate how my career goes too."

David, who has paid out of his own pocket to train at the famed Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles and the Kadoebi Gym in Tokyo, has boxing in his blood. His father is former national boxer David Alexis, who won a bronze medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1993 SEA Games.

David also represented Singapore at the World Cadet (Under-16) Championships.

He said the upcoming fight with Karroum - who is signed with Golden Gloves Asia Promotions, organisers of TRFC - will be key to earning greater opportunities, possibly outside of Singapore.

David added: "I know there are foreign promoters - I have had contact with ones in Japan, the UK and the US - watching, and if I do really well, that would help a lot.

"Winning the title would also give me leverage. So this fight is very important for me."

Karroum, 26, is also keen to make up for lost time. He started his pro career after arriving in Singapore in October 2017 from Monaco and has a perfect record of four wins.

He was scheduled to fight in an event at the Marina Bay Sands last September, but an elbow injury ruled him out.

He said: "Against (David) I am expecting to go eight high-intensity rounds. In terms of preparation, I don't have a specific plan except to make sure I am better than him in every situation. My team and I have studied him, I'm working hard hard, and for sure it'll be a great fight."

The other co-main event at TRFC VI will see another Singaporean Hamzah Farouk, defend his WBC Asia continental super featherweight title against Paiboon Lorkham.

Hamzah, 30, has won all seven of his fights so far, while his 40-year-old Thai opponent has 19 wins and 11 losses.

Hamzah is ranked 323rd in the world in his division by reputable boxing statistics website Boxrec and hopes a win in his first fight of 2019 will set the tone for a successful year.

"The target is to get 10 fights by the end of the year, and crack the Top 100," he said.

"This fight on Friday is a big chance for me to prove that I'm here for real, that I want to make forward steps in my career and make something for myself.

"I've been very happy with my progress (since an October 2017 pro debut). I have a strong team behind me, good fights are being arranged, and I'm defending belts... These things give me motivation to keep pushing on and be stronger than I was the day before."

Golden Gloves Asia founder Ruchdi Hajjar, 38, a partner at wealth and asset management company SGMC Capital, is delighted by the "organic evolution" of TRFC, which he first staged in October 2016. The event features national amateur boxers in addition to the pro ones.

"When we stage elite amateur fights, we have more than 60 (interested) participants," said the Frenchman, who here in Singapore in 2009.

"That's as many as you might have at the Nationals (Boxing Championship), so we have to put a limit to how many (bouts) we have. But this is what we want to do - inspire the next generation of boxers, and give them visibility and exposure.

"Friday will showcase the evolution of TRFC, its team, its fighters, and we will try as always to give fans a show that leaves them thinking: I want to come to the next one."

Tickets to TRFC VI are available at www.thering.sg/tickets.