Boxing: Ridhwan announces shock retirement, sparks confusion ahead of March WBC title bout

Boxer Muhamad Ridhwan (right) sparring with fellow boxer Mohammed Narish during a training session.
Boxer Muhamad Ridhwan (right) sparring with fellow boxer Mohammed Narish during a training session.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - The Republic's top professional boxer Muhamad Ridhwan is scheduled for a big fight on March 29 at home - the World Boxing Council (WBC) silver featherweight title bout against Namibian Paulus Ambunda - but the 31-year-old caused a stir on social media on Friday (Jan 11) with a post on his Facebook page announcing his retirement.

The post entitled "The road has ended", went up in the wee hours of the morning.

 

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."

The athlete could not be reached, but his promoter, Ringstar, laughed off the move, asserting that the boxer will, as scheduled, travel to the Philippines for a training camp next week.

The Straits Times had earlier reported that Ridhwan had parted ways with his long-time trainer Rey Caitom Jr, and instead will spend over two months under another Filipino coach, Joven Jimenez, at the Survival Camp. The training facility for boxers in Cavite province about three hours' drive south of Manila is run by International Boxing Federation super flyweight world champion Jerwin Ancajas, who was dubbed "the next Manny Pacquiao" by legendary promoter Bob Arum.

Ridhwan 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 pro fights. The rematch was seen as a chance to gain a measure of revenge in what has been billed the biggest fight for any Singaporean boxer.

Tickets for the fight are scheduled to be released on Monday but it remains to be seen if it will take place.