Ridhwan is IBO intercontinental featherweight champ

Singapore's Muhamad Ridhwan throwing a punch at Filipino Jeson Umbal during their International Boxing Organisation intercontinental featherweight title bout last night.
Singapore's Muhamad Ridhwan throwing a punch at Filipino Jeson Umbal during their International Boxing Organisation intercontinental featherweight title bout last night.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

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 (57.15kg) title at the Roar of Singapore IV event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last night.

The 30-year-old took his opponent, who bagged 11 of his 16 wins by knockouts, to the distance, and scored a majority win (117-111, 116-112, 114-114) to claim the belt in front of 4,000 fans.

The win has also earned him a shot at the IBO world featherweight title, likely in September.

"I feel good, we did enough to win. We took the fight to him, took his best shots, and kept marching forward," Ridhwan said. "I haven't thought about the world title shot... I hope I get a few more fights before I fight for the belt."

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

In the other bouts, Filipino fighter Michael Dasmarinas stunned France's Karim Guerfi - ranked sixth by the World Boxing Council - with a vicious knockout in the fourth round to claim the IBO world bantamweight title.

Malaysian Meeraj Khan also captured the WBC Asia continental light heavyweight belt after a unanimous decision win over New Zealand's Chase Haley. Singapore super flyweight fighter Efasha Kamarudin marked her pro debut with a technical knockout win over Thai Sumalee Tongpootorn. Fellow Singaporean Alexandrew David drew his six-round catchweight bout with Malaysian Keng Fai.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2018, with the headline 'Ridhwan is IBO intercontinental featherweight champ'. Print Edition | Subscribe