Hamzah's title in one minute

Hamzah Farouk raises his hands in joy after knocking out Indonesia's Isack Junior for the WBC Asia Continental super featherweight title on Friday. His professional record is now 7-0.
Hamzah Farouk raises his hands in joy after knocking out Indonesia's Isack Junior for the WBC Asia Continental super featherweight title on Friday. His professional record is now 7-0.PHOTO: BACK ALLEY MEDIA

Singaporean knocks out Indonesian for WBC Asia Continental super featherweight crown

Hamzah Farouk's bout on Friday night was over in 1min 2sec, but the memory of winning the first title of his boxing career will last far longer.

The 30-year-old Singaporean beat former World Boxing Organisation (WBO) champion Isack Junior of Indonesia by knockout to win the World Boxing Council's Asia Continental super featherweight title at The Ring Boxing Community in front of 450 fans.

Speaking to The Sunday Times yesterday, Hamzah said: "I didn't believe it at first. It all felt like a dream because it happened so fast.

"The first thing I felt was relief that it was finished - the whole 11 weeks of training and hard work were done and I did it in one round."

Preparations started in September, with Filipino Jeson Umbal, who lost to Singaporean Muhamad Ridhwan in the International Boxing Organisation intercontinental featherweight title bout in April, roped in as a sparring partner.

"That really made the difference in my training. It elevated (my standard) and my team (Golden Gloves Asia Promotion) also helped me each and every step of the way," said Hamzah.


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"We prepared really well, we were preparing for 10 rounds but we went only one, so all the hard work done in training paid off."

Describing the win, which took his professional record to 7-0, as a dream come true, he added: "I don't think many people are as blessed to be able to pursue or get the opportunity to achieve something they've dreamt of as a child.

"Winning a belt in boxing is something I dreamt of. I did that last night and it felt amazing, incredible, like how I imagined it would."

Revealing that he had slept for only two hours after the win, Hamzah added: "It took me a while to get the belt and I was in the dressing room an hour later looking at it and being on my own, and I was like, 'This is it, this is real, this is what I've worked for the past two years and I've got it, so let's move on to the next step.'"

His next steps involve climbing up the rankings, going for bigger fights, and aiming to win an international belt.

Hamzah, ranked 341st in the world super featherweight (57-59kg) class before Friday's fight, wants to enter the top 100 by the end of next year. He is confident of staving off the hangover that sometimes comes after an athlete achieves his dream.

"I already miss training," he added. "I have a good team behind me so we'll sit down and get back to the drawing board - to set out new goals, new plans and new faces to fight and we'll see what's next.

"This win makes me more motivated to train harder."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 02, 2018, with the headline 'Hamzah's title in one minute'. Print Edition | Subscribe