Boxing: Ridhwan ready for US stint

Singapore's Muhamad Ridhwan is relishing the prospect of twice-daily training sessions during his Aug 7-28 stint at the prestigious Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.
Singapore's Muhamad Ridhwan is relishing the prospect of twice-daily training sessions during his Aug 7-28 stint at the prestigious Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.PHOTO COURTESY OF TERRENCE CHUA

Singapore boxer will prepare for IBO title fight at Mayweather Boxing Club in Vegas

Months of planning and negotiations ended with a simple "yes" by Singapore boxer Muhamad Ridhwan, sealing a rare opportunity to train at the famous Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.

The Republic's first-ever world champion will take on a 22-day stint at the private training gym founded by boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. It will help him prepare for his Oct 20 bout for the International Boxing Organisation's vacant super featherweight title.

His Aug 7-28 training trip came through after negotiations by Singapore-based Scott O'Farrell, founder of Ringstar Management, which manages Ridhwan's career.

"It's not every day that a regular guy can be given an opportunity to train with one of the best boxing teams that's active right now," Ridhwan, the current Universal Boxing Organisation (UBO) world super featherweight champion, explained his decision to go for the training stint.

"There are current and former world champions, as well as prospects (at the gym). I want to see how the top-level guys train and it'll be a good learning experience to see where I stand."

The 29-year-old will work with legendary trainer Otis Pimpleton, who has helped shape the careers of US fighters Lanell Bellows (16 wins, three losses, one draw) and Juan Heraldez, who remains unbeaten after 12 bouts.

Despite facing his toughest training routine yet, Ridhwan, who started boxing at 17, is relishing the idea of the stint. He will be put through twice-daily training sessions in various areas, including sparring and pad work.

He said: "I'm looking forward to it. It's not just about getting experience, it's also to show that I can hold my own at a high level.

"To be in that scene, it's a whole different level. To be surrounding myself with such athletes, it'll motivate me to improve."

His trip will be sponsored by Ringstar, and the organisation in turn is looking for prospective co-sponsors.

After he returns to Singapore, he will continue to prepare for the Oct 20 fight against South Africa's Koos Sibiya for the vacant title. The two fighters will face off at the Roar of Singapore III at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"I'm feeling confident," said Ridhwan. "I predict it's going to be a knockout in fewer than eight rounds."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2017, with the headline 'Ridhwan ready for US stint'. Print Edition | Subscribe