The UAE’s Khadoum Al Kaabi took centre-stage winning the lone amateur fight on the night even as two challengers sunk defending champions on the second day of the World Arab Boxing Championships held at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Sunday.
Al Ka’abi was declared winner on an unanimous decision against Yemeni challenger Abdullah Mohsin in the 65 kgs amateur category, while challenger Lorena Klinj from Holland upset defending champion Kiel Holtz of Colombia to be crowned the new champion in the women’s middleweight 66 kgs category.
The bout between the UAE champion and his Yemeni challenger was evenly matched, but it was Al Kaabi’s more aggressive approach that ultimately won him the fight.
The fight between Holtz and Klinj was even through most of the six rounds that they sparred. But a sudden lurch forward from the Colombian boxer saw her get a deep gash over her left eye forcing the French referee to call off the fight midway through the sixth round.
“She made a mistake by pushing herself on me. When one makes a mistake like that, it is only right that the boxer has to be punished,” the Dutch boxer said after receiving her belt from former world champion Danny Williams from Great Britain.
Klinj’s coach cum manager Mousid Akhamrane, also a former world champion, was not unnerved about the world champion from Colombia. “We had a strategy and that is the reason why she (Klinj) started off so slowly. Even if the fight had gone the full distance we would have still won it,” Akhamrane said.
Klinj was thrilled at the avenues this win could possibly open for her young career. “For sure, this win is just the beginning for me. I challenged myself and proved that I can take on the best and win against a world champion,” Klinj said.
Surinam’s two-time world champion Dolly McBean and Turkey’s Hatice Ozyurt both retained their titles with the African girl knocking off Dutch challenger Raquel Adams in the fifth round of their featherweight fight, while Ozyurt kept her superlight 63 kgs belt with an unanimous decision against Moroccan opponent Ghizlan Al Aazri.
In the other fights on the night, Morocco’s Khadija Al Dabali used her leg kick to perfection to dethrone two-time world champion Natalie Maurel of France in the women’s Flyweight 50 kgs category, while Tunisia’s Haifa Ouersighni made her youth count in her favour as she disposed off the more experienced Noura Ali of Egypt in their Flyweight 61 kgs amateur category.
Organised by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) in coordination with international boxing body FIBA and Golden Star Media, the two-day boxing event is a combination of sports and entertainment held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Flyweight 61 kgs: Haifa Ouersighni (Tunisia) bt Noura Ali (Egypt) on unanimous decision
Flyweight 50 kgs: Khadija Al Dabali (Morocco) bt Natalie Maurel (France) on unanimous decision
65kgs Men’s Amateur: Khadoum Al Kaabi (UAE) bt Abdullah Mohsin (Yemen) on unanimous decision
Featherweight 55 kgs: Dolly McBean (Surinam) bt Raquel Adams (Holland) by KO
Featherweight 63 kgs: Hatice Ozyurt (Turkey) bt Ghizlan Al Aazri (Morocco) on unanimous decision
Middleweight 66 kgs: Lorena Klinj (Holland) bt Kiel Holtz (Colombia) on unanimous decision