Boxing: Singapore featherweight boxer Ridhwan fends off Philippine opponent to win by majority decision

Local professional boxer Muhamad Ridhwan outlasted Filipino Jeson Umbal to win the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) Intercontinental featherweight title by majority decision in the 12-round bout.
Local professional boxer Muhamad Ridhwan outlasted Filipino Jeson Umbal to win the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) Intercontinental featherweight title by majority decision in the 12-round bout.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Singapore's Muhamad Ridhwan throwing a punch at Filipino Jeson Umbal during their International Boxing Organisation intercontinental featherweight title bout.
Singapore's Muhamad Ridhwan throwing a punch at Filipino Jeson Umbal during their International Boxing Organisation intercontinental featherweight title bout.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Singapore's Muhamad Ridhwan beat Filipino Jeson Umbal in their International Boxing Organisation intercontinental featherweight title bout.
Singapore's Muhamad Ridhwan beat Filipino Jeson Umbal in their International Boxing Organisation intercontinental featherweight title bout.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Singapore professional boxer Muhamad Ridhwan claimed the biggest win of his career, when he beat Filipino fighter Jeson Umbal for the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) intercontinental featherweight (57kg) title.

The 30-year-old took his opponent, who bagged 11 of his 16 wins by knockouts, the distance, and scored a majority win (117-111, 116-112, 114-114) to claim the belt at the Roar of Singapore IV event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday night (April 20).

The win, watched by a crowd of about 4,000, has also earned him a shot at the IBO world featherweight title, likely scheduled for September.

Elsewhere on the card, Filipino fighter Michael Dasmarinas stunned French fighter Karim Guerfi - ranked sixth by the World Boxing Council - with a vicious knockout in the fourth round to claim the IBO world bantamweight title.

A title was also won by Malaysian Meeraj Khan, when he captured the WBC Asia continental light heavyweight belt after a unanimous decision win over New Zealander Chase Haley.

In the opening bout, Singapore super flyweight fighter Efasha Kamarudin marked her pro debut with a technical knockout win over Thai Sumalee Tongpootorn.

Another Singaporean, Alexandrew David, drew his six-round catchweight (69kg) bout with Malaysian Keng Fai.

Ridhwan had to nullify the threat of his southpaw opponent, nicknamed "Dynamite Fist" for his punching power, and eventually found his range to control the 12-round fight, after struggling with his opponent in the first two rounds.

He said: "I feel good, we did enough to win. We took the fight to him, took his best shots, and kept marching forward.

"Today was about tactics, a strong battle plan from my coaches Rey (Caitom Jr) and Arab (Muhammad B A Alkhatib)... It was a great team effort.

"I haven't thought about the world title shot (in September) but I know I need to be at my best, I need to get better, and I hope I get a few more fights to do that before I fight for the belt."