By Cormac O’Donnell
Rising Stars Arabia proved to be a highly entertaining and successful boxing event in the Mubadala Arena, Abu Dhabi on Saturday Night.
The sold-out promotion, led by Seddiqi Boxing in association with Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism showcased a range of emerging local Arab boxing talent in the Middle East. The Middle Eastern Professional Boxing Commission led by Jose Mohan were on hand to officiate proceedings.
The card got off to an electric start as local Emirati Middleweight Fahad Alkhoor knocked out Ibrahim Junior Lubebe in the first minute of the first round.
Iranian Benyamin Moradzadeh and Indian Rohit Choudhary followed this with a close welterweight bout with the former landing more damaging shots to eke out a victory.
In one of the more entertaining moments of the night, Egyptian Mohammed Bekdash charged out of his corner, like a bull out of a pen, to pummel Ugandan Mussa Ntege – earning himself a first round KO in their Heavyweight bout.
For the WBC Silver World Youth belt, Jordanian Bishara Sabbar and Indian Mohd Azahar squared off against each other. Sabbar confidently landed plenty of audible power shots that secured his victory. Badou Jack, the WBC Cruiserweight Champion presented the prestigious title to Sabbar in the ring.
The fight of the night turned out to be the co-main contest in which local UAE fighter Sultan Alnuaimi faced Tanzanian Jemsi Kibazange. There was high drama from the opening bell as Kibazange got off to a dominant start with Alnuaimi suffering a cut above his left eye.
Sultan Alnuaimi, buoyed by the roars of his countrymen and women, rallied back for the rest of the rounds. A close fight at times, Alnuaimi found a second wind to put it on Kibazange. By the final round, Jemsi Kibazange was reluctant to engage and Sultan Alnuaimi won by decision.
For the main event of the evening, local Jordanian prospect Bader Samreen faced off against Mexican Jose Paez Gonzales in a lightweight contest. The early rounds were close, but Samreen found confidence in his jab, displaying crisp counterpunches. Those shots added up and the fight was waved off, with Bader Samreen winning by TKO.
Local and International boxing celebrities showed up to offer support and enjoy the entertainment. Chris Eubank Jr. was in attendance, along with WBC Champion Badou Jack, Amer Abdallah of Skill Challenge Promotions and Fadi Altal of Boxing Arabia.
The fights were screened on DAZN, ESPN Knockout and Abu Dhabi Sports with Spencer Oliver and Gareth A. Davis in the arena for commentary duties.
Ahmed Seddiqi of Seddiqi Sports voiced his pleasure with the success of the evening to IFL TV’s Kugan Cassius.
“I’m really happy; the fights went really well. I hope the spectators enjoyed it. I’m grateful to Allah to have this wonderful night.”
“For Sultan’s fight, I had to run to his corner, because I have to help him with his training and his workout. I had to be there in his corner. He survived and he won the fight.
“It was super. The Department of Tourism and Culture in Abu Dhabi loved it. We had a lot of VIPS coming. Hopefully, it will keep continuing to rise now.”
“I hope everyone enjoyed it; the many people involved in it, Abu Dhabi – the whole team, that were there, all my friends and family. Alhumdillah, Thanks to God.”