Doha Open is a ‘thumping’ victory for boxing in Qatar
May 28 2014 11:49 PM
Boxers from the young adults category in action at the Doha Open Boxing Championship at Qatar Sports
Boxers from the young adults category in action at the Doha Open Boxing Championship at Qatar Sports Club yesterday.

What’s the first thing you notice in a boxer? The bulging biceps could be a giveaway. But the one thing that strikes you the most is that all of them have flattened noses – the serious boxers that is. And yesterday, on the second and final day of the Doha Open Championships 2014, it was these serious ones who were competing for the top spot of the podium in the finals of the different weight categories.

Held in the indoor arena of the Qatar Sports Club, the tournament, conducted by the Qatar Boxing Federation (QBF), gave the boxers from Qatar a chance to showcase their skills and earn some glory. For the spectators present, it was a great chance to experience live boxing action. The ‘thumps’ as the boxers landed their punches made for a great background score to the proceedings yesterday. While the first day of the Championship was for young ones, yesterday it was all about the big boys.

The day began with the flyweight category (52kg) and ended with the Super Heavyweight category (91+ kg). There were nine matches in all and the increase in the weight category could be easily identified with the increase in the loudness of the ‘thumps’ as the boxers punched away.

With boxers having come from across the spectrum, there were some keenly contested fights and a few one-sided ones. The light welterweight category (64kg) saw a close battle between Mohamed al-Tom and Adebayo Tunde Aderogba. Al-Tom won the match 2-1 with the scores reading 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29. And on the other side we had the fight between Amir Ashraf Elsaey and Hassan Ali Ahmed which was ended by the referee in the middle of the first round itself. Elsaey landed a few strong punches which left his opponent reeling and the referee deemed that it wasn’t worth taking the match forward.   

The welterweight category (68kg) saw a battle between friends. Huzam Nabah was facing his sparring partner Fahad al-Thani. Nabah, the 2006 Asian Games bronze medallist, was far too superior for Fahad, winning the match 3-0. But Nabah picked out Fahad as a talent to watch out for. Fahad, who started boxing six years ago when he was doing his university studies in London, is serious about taking his passion forward.

“I fell in love with sport after watching the big fights on television. I started boxing six years ago and I want to do this on a serious level. The sport is growing in popularity in Qatar and tournaments like this are good for the boxers in the country,” said Fahad.

Nabah was all praise for Fahad’s skills. “I was careful during the fight because he is a good boxer. He is new but he has the talent. He has a good coach. He won the bronze medal in the GCC Championships in the 69kg weight category. He lacks the match experience but once he gets that he will go far,” said Nabah.

Nabah also said that the QBF organising this tournament will help boost the popularity of the sport in the country. “There are a lot of boxers in Qatar but they don’t know how to go about it. More tournaments like this will help bring the game to the people. Maybe we can get a good player through tournaments like this. And they will do well in the national team. Tournaments like this are very good for making boxing popular in the country,” he said.

The next stop for Nabah is Belarus where there is an international tournament being held for which QBF will select seven to eight boxers from this tournament. And after that he will be competing in the GCC Championship in Kuwait in October. “The tournament in Belarus will be a very strong one with many international boxers. But we have a very good Cuban coach who works with us every day. And we will be ready for these tournaments,” said Nabah.

The QBF has brought boxing back to Doha after six years and it was a great sight to see the boxers live in action. “We would like to thank the Qatar Sports Club for letting us use their facilities for free and help us successfully conduct this championship,” QBF president Yousuf Ali al-Kazim, said after the event. With the QBF planning more events, boxing will be sure to get its share of the spotlight in the days to come.


Today’s results

Flyweight (52kg): Yahya Saleh beat Gebresselasy Asefa 2-1

Bantamweight (56kg): Molla Getachew beat Nebiyyou Ali Mohamed  3-0

Lightweight (60kg): Abdelfattah Nafil beat Abdullatef Mohamed Sadiq 3-0

Light welterweight (64kg): Mohamed al-Tom beat Aderogba Adebayo Tunde 2-1

Welterweight (69kg): Huzam Nabah beat Fahad al-Thani 3-0

Middleweight (75kg): Hadi al-Tom beat Hazem Nabah 3-0

Light heavyweight (81kg): Hakan Nornureyeddin beat Sunday Glement 3-0

Heavyweight (91kg): Amir Ashraf Elsaey beat Hassan Ali Ahmed via Technical Knockout

Super heavyweight (91+ kg): Azedine Alouafi beat Karem Alghanem 2-1






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