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From gamer to boxer, Al Nuaimi is sparking a revolution

Sultan Al Nuaimi, who won his first two professional bouts, is itching for more fights that will help him become a better boxer. -- Photo by Neeraj Murali
Sultan Al Nuaimi, who won his first two professional bouts, is itching for more fights that will help him become a better boxer. -- Photo by Neeraj Murali

Dubai - The 26-year-old, who hails from Ajman, has already won both his bouts so far and hopes to be on the top step someday.



By James Jose

Published: Fri 27 Mar 2020, 2:54 PM

Last updated: Fri 27 Mar 2020, 5:04 PM

In a country that is known for its football, Sultan Al Nuaimi is sparking something of a boxing revolution.
Eisa Al Dah opened the door, becoming the UAE's first professional boxer, back in the day. And a trio of boxers have taken the baton and are striving hard to put Dubai on the world boxing map.
Majid Al Naqbi had brought boxing back into the limelight when he made his professional bow last year.
And following in his footsteps were Al Nuaimi and Fahad Al Bloushi, who too made their pro debuts at the fag end of last year.
It's now Al Nuaimi who is taking massive steps as he maps his boxing journey. The 26-year-old, who hails from Ajman, has already won both his bouts so far and hopes to be on the top step someday.
Al Nuaimi's story is a fascinating one because as recently as three years ago, he was hooked to video gaming until a friend of his introduced him to the world of boxing. And the virtual world was replaced soon enough as he dragged himself out of the couch.
Al Nuaimi dedicated his time to working hard and got into shape in about nine months and spent two years honing his skills.
He made his pro debut with a first round TKO in just 112 seconds over Indonesia's Charles Latuperissa at Rotunda Rumble II. And he followed that up by winning his Super-flyweight bout against another Indonesian Sulis Barrera by unanimous decision in Rotunda Rumble III at the Caesars Palace Bluewaters.
"I never imagined that I would be boxing on a stage like this," Al Nuaimi told the Khaleej Times in an exclusive chat.
"I thought I would be in small events and all that and now we are headlining boxing sports in Dubai," he added.
Al Nuaimi's real fight lay in fighting the mindsets of people around him.
"It is a big change. I had to challenge myself against all the odds as well. Some of them were very negative about me being a boxer. But, I told them, 'alright, you will see.' I started in the sport and now they are all like cheering me up, they call me, they congratulate me, They are so proud. They tell everyone that 'look at him, he's a boxer and he's going to be a champion one day. And I hope, yes, I will be a champion one day," gushed Al Nuaimi.
"Most of the focus is on football in our country and other sports but not contact sports. Whenever you want to join a contact sport, they go like 'you will get beaten up.' Just go against them. Why do you have to listen to them? Do what you love and you will reach your goal someday. Everyone was against me and look at me now, I'm now a professional boxer, perfect record, trying to go up and up each time," he added,
Al Nuaimi looks up to former featherweight world champion Prince Naseem Hamed, better known as 'Prince' or 'Naz' in his heyday. Prince Naseem became something of a British icon in the 90s.
Floyd Mayweather too is one of his favourites because of the American's defensive acumen, and also Filipino ace Manny Pacquiao and Italian-Canadian boxer Arturo Gatti.
Looking ahead, Al Nuaimi is itching for more fights that will help him become a better boxer and hopefully have a shot at a world title one day.
"Bigger fights, better rankings and hopefully it will open doors for bigger bouts," Al Nuaimi said.
"We always want to be No.1 like our nation. We need to be No.1 in everything. So, that is my goal. Inshallah, I will be No.1 one day and everyone will be proud of me," he signed off.
james@khaleejtimes.com
 
 


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