Ridhwan’s aiming for the top 100
UPDATE: Muhamad Ridhwan became the first Singaporean to win the World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia Featherweight Championship title on Saturday (April 8) at the Singapore Foochow Association.
He knocked out his opponent — Indonesia's Waldo Sabu — during the Singapore Fighting Championship 5: Combat Redefined event in the second round of a 10-round bout.
He has bided his time, preferring to challenge opponents in the past 16 months instead of going for gold.
But local professional boxer Muhamad Ridhwan is now ready to take the next step in his career, which began in a cramped dormitory in Cebu, the Philippines, in December 2015.
Tonight, the 29-year-old will step into the ring to face Indonesian Waldo Sabu for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia super featherweight title.
The fight for the strap will headline the Singapore Fighting Championship (SFC) 5 event at the Foochow Building in Jalan Besar.
Speaking to The New Paper at the Legends Fight Sport gym he co-owns, Ridhwan reflected on the growth of boxing in Singapore over the past two years.
He sees tonight's bout as a milestone of sorts.
"A lot of people worked very hard to make this happen," he said.
"So even though this is a very good opportunity for me personally, I also see this as a fight for all of us - the fighters, coaches, promoters and gym owners who have put in effort to raise the profile of local boxing."
Ridhwan, a former national amateur boxer who won three South-east Asia (SEA) Games bronze medals, is eyeing another victory to enhance his pro record of six wins from six fights.
"Globally, I'm currently 187th and my opponent is 113rd," he said. "A win and the best case scenario for me is I get to break into the top 100."
His manager, Arvind Lalwani, is confident his fighter has what it takes to see off the challenge of Sabu, who has 12 wins from 18 fights.
"For me, Ridhwan was pretty much ready two fights ago, when he beat Indonesian Ramly Pasaribu (in November 2016)," said the local boxing promoter.
"Pasaribu is a seasoned veteran who has fought in Japan and Thailand, but Wan made him look amateurish, and finished him with a K.O. in the first round.
"So I thought he was ready to step up for a bigger challenge.
"And after his last fight, when he knocked out Filipino (48-bout fighter) Jason Butar Butar in February, I felt this was the perfect time for him to fight for a title."
SFC 5 will feature a stacked card of 14 bouts, with seven pro boxing bouts, four mixed martial arts fights, and three K1 kickboxing matches.
Other local professional boxers in action include Rafi Majid, who became Singapore's first male champion when he won the Universal Boxing Organisation (UBO) super middleweight Asia Pacific title in February, as well as Nurshahidah Roslie, who won the UBO super featherweight intercontinental title at the Futsing Building last June.
For more information on the SFC 5 tickets, which are priced at $50, visit the Singapore Fighting Championship Facebook page.