Boxer Ridhwan expected to break into top 80
Singapore's newly crowned boxing world champion set to fight again in August
He had just become Singapore's first professional boxing world champion.
But, for Muhamad Ridhwan, life has not changed much.
In the wee hours yesterday morning, the 29-year-old captured the Universal Boxing Organisation world super featherweight title with a fourth-round knock-out of Tanzania's Fadhili Majiha.
"It still feels surreal," Ridhwan told The New Paper yesterday after his historic feat at the Roar of Singapore II event at Resorts World Sentosa.
"Random strangers are commenting on articles and sharing posts on Facebook, and my phone has jammed up a few times already.
"There's a lot of reaction (to the win) and I don't know how to react myself.
"But, for me, life goes on. Today I did my laundry and I queued up at the bus stop without anybody knowing me, so I'm still okay."
On Saturday night, backed by a vociferous crowd of over 1,500 supporters, Ridhwan felled Majiha thrice in the fourth round.
The World Boxing Association (WBA) Pan African champion could not get back on his feet after Ridhwan's right hook to the temple sent him down for the third time.
In the changing room later, Ridhwan had a teary embrace with his former coach, 1974 Sportsman of the Year Syed Abdul Kadir.
The win took Ridhwan's professional boxing record to eight wins from as many fights, with all but one coming by way of knock-out.
His world ranking is also likely to improve significantly - he is ranked 110th now, but could break into the top 80 when the rankings are updated.
However, the immediate future is not straightforward for the former national amateur boxer, who last month won his first pro boxing crown with a WBA Asia super featherweight title victory at the Singapore Fighting Championship 5 event.
Ridhwan's next fight will likely be in August, when he will either defend his WBA Asia title, or vie for the International Boxing Organisation Intercontinental title.
He said: "Right now, my trainer Rey (Caitom Jr) and I are only focused on getting the right opponent for me next.
"As for which belt I will fight for... It should not be a problem. The promoters can work something out."
Ridhwan's title win was the highlight of a night of glitz and glamour at Resorts World Sentosa.
The first Roar of Singapore event in February was held in a humbler setting of the Foochow Building in Jalan Besar.
This time round, VIPs sat at tables around the ring, close enough to almost feel the boxers pounding their 8oz gloves on each other, while ladies in cocktail dresses carted around boxing memorabilia for auction.
Said Roar of Singapore promoter Scott O' Farrell: "That was exactly what I wanted.
"We had the VIPs and sponsors, people who can invest money into the sport and, hopefully, they can see how great it is and what it can offer them.
"It was also a great night for new fans of boxing... There wasn't a bad seat in the house.
"Added to that, the fights were just absolutely fantastic quality.
"I had people telling me it felt like walking into Vegas."