A champion's mindset

Unbeaten Emirati fighter Sultan Al Nuaimi credits the Round 10 ‘family’ for keeping his dreams alive



Published: Sat 1 Oct 2022, 8:30 PM

Last updated: Sat 1 Oct 2022, 8:35 PM

Every story needs a hero, and every hero has a story to tell. Emirati boxer Sultan Al Nuaimi’s narrative in particular makes for a compelling story. As a youngster, Sultan was an obsessive gamer. It was his life. Then one day, while playing an online boxing game, he realised that he was wasting his time in the virtual world. It was time for a change.

Turning over a new leaf, Sultan headed off in search of a gymnasium where he intended to take the first steps towards a more rewarding and fulfilling existence. “A friend told me about the Round 10 Boxing Club and that’s where I headed, in search of a new beginning,” Sultan recalls his first visit to the Al Quoz-based gym.

“From the moment I walked in, I had this feeling of ‘This is where I belong’. I was done with gaming and wanted to do something more challenging. I was not a youngster anymore. I was 24 at the time and knew that I had some catching up to do on the younger generation. But I was aware that if I wanted to make it as a boxer, I had to deal with several levels of hardships,” he said.

Within a few days, Round 10 felt like home to Sultan. “The coaches were helpful, the other fighters who trained there were inspiring, and the overall vibe was so cool. Everyone had a must-win attitude. This was the biggest motivation for me,” said Sultan.

He also recalled the day he met Ahmed Seddiqi, who created and owned Round 10. “When you meet a person who is so driven and is at the top of the leadership, it has a big impact on you,” he added. “Ahmed welcomed me like I was family, and I was intrinsically motivated. If you want to go places in life and find the person that can help you get there, it is a wonderful feeling.”

Gradually Sultan stepped up the daily workouts, daily walks, and hot baths, in a bid to improve his cardio and prepare himself for his boxing debut, which came at the age of 26 at Rotunda Rumble II, where he wasted no time showcasing his skills with a first-round TKO over Indonesia’s Carles Latuperissa. "I never imagined that I would be boxing on a stage like this," he said. "Here I was in a headlining boxing event.”

Fast-forward to the present day and Sultan is now a full-fledged professional boxer with a perfect record of eight wins and no losses. He is also a member of the UAE National team. “Everything that I have accomplished would not have been possible without the support I have received from Ahmed and the Round 10 family,” says Sultan. “I owe it to them.”

Sultan also mentioned that he has not lost sight of his goal to one day be a world champion. “It’s a big dream, but I’m not afraid of dreaming. I don’t fear failure. I have the commitment, which helps me stay focused on what I want to achieve. To be a champion you don’t stop at anything. It’s a state of mind, the champion’s mindset, which you develop at Round 10.”

sports@khaleejtimes.com


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