Boxing: Hamzah pleased as punch

Singapore's Hamzah Farouk (black shorts) landing a right on Malaysian Rahmat Munadjab's midriff in their lightweight bout. He won by unanimous decision after a five-year break.
Singapore's Hamzah Farouk (black shorts) landing a right on Malaysian Rahmat Munadjab's midriff in their lightweight bout. He won by unanimous decision after a five-year break.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

He beats Malaysian Rahmat in pro debut and gets shot to fight on undercard in title bout

Singaporean boxer Hamzah Farouk won on his professional debut yesterday, beating Malaysia's Rahmat Munadjab by unanimous decision after four rounds at the Battle of Champions boxing event at Far East Square.

The duo fought in the four-bout lightweight division. Yesterday's fight was one of six undercards at the event, which is presented by Cartel International Promotions and sanctioned by the World Boxing Council (WBC).

Close to 400 people watched the event, including a raucous group of supporters who yelled themselves hoarse as Hamzah entered the ring.

He said elatedly after his victory: "I was nervous during the first half of the first round because it was my first time in the ring after five years, but my friends and family motivated me. I looked at them and I knew what I had to do, and that's how I overcame it.

"I've worked so hard for this for the past five or six months and it's all paid off."

The 28-year-old's win yesterday means he has chance to fight on the undercard of the WBC silver world title (welterweight) bout between champion Charles Manyuchi of Zimbabwe and Uzbekistan's Qudratillo Abduqaxorov at the OCBC Arena on March 25.

He added: "Hopefully I get on the card of the next one on March 25; I'm going to train harder and put in twice the effort."

Hamzah, a boxing and fitness trainer at the Fit to Fight gym, was making his return to boxing after a five-year hiatus.

The former amateur's last fight was in 2012, and he said: "This has definitely reignited my love for the sport.

"Now that there are more professional fights and more promoters coming to Singapore, the opportunities are there and this is the best time for me to get back in shape and fall back in love with the sport like the obsessed teenager that I was 15 years ago."

Fellow Singaporean Edgar Ang, making his second professional appearance, was knocked out by Indonesian debutant Bima Prakosa 55 seconds into the opening round of the super lightweight bout.

The headline bout featured Thailand's Sirimongkol Singwancha and Azizbek Abdugofurov, who faced off for the WBC Asia middleweight championship, which the Uzbek won after an unanimous decision.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2017, with the headline 'Hamzah pleased as punch'. Print Edition | Subscribe