SINGAPORE - A "clash of ideas" led to his shock "retirement" announcement last week, but top local professional boxer Muhamad Ridhwan says he has his eyes firmly focused on winning the World Boxing Council (WBC) silver featherweight title on March 29 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The 31-year-old told The Straits Times on Monday (Jan 14): "The magnitude of the event, long training camp overseas, sponsorships, collaborations and many other issues inevitably bring a new kind of pressure... We are all learning.
"At some point, ideas clash and arguments happen.
"After giving the matter some time and letting everyone cool off, we all came together again and are now aligned towards the same goal.
"Everyone is on board working very hard to make this the biggest boxing event that is to take place in Singapore. These things happen at this high level and we'll just learn to deal with it better."
He declined to provide details of what disagreements took place, and with whom.
Last Friday, he caused a stir when he put up a Facebook post captioned "The road has ended".
It read: "Hi all. Guess what? All good things come to an end. It was fun while it lasted. This is it for me. I am retiring."
His promoter, Ringstar, laughed off the post then, asserting that the boxer would, as scheduled, travel to the Philippines for a training camp this week to prepare for the WBC silver title bout against Namibian Paulus Ambunda.
Ridhwan had lost a split decision to Ambunda after 12 rounds in a fight for the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) world super bantamweight title on Sept 29, his only defeat in 12 professional fights.
The March 29 fight is a chance for him to gain a measure of revenge in what has been billed the biggest fight for any Singaporean boxer.
About 7,000 tickets - priced from $38 to $118 - go on sale on Friday at www.sportshub.com.sg/Ridhwan-Ambunda. VIP Ringside Sofa Seats are also available at $1,888, and they come with uninterrupted views of the ring and a personalised butler service with free flow of drinks.
An early bird discount of 30 per cent off all tickets is available until Feb 28, with the promotion code 'Ringstar'.
Now that the drama has been cast aside, Ridhwan insisted that he is focused on the biggest fight of his career.
"I am not retiring," he declared. "Maybe I did for a couple of hours. So you can say I am coming out of retirement to retire Paulus Ambunda on March 29 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, when we fight for the WBC World Silver Featherweight title."