The man behind Dubai’s Round 10 Boxing Club intends to shape a future Olympian from the United Arab Emirates after relaunching the gym in Al Quoz.
No Emirati has ever competed in boxing at the Olympics but Ahmed Seddiqi, founder of Round 10, believes there is a promising future in store for the sport in the UAE.
“Our inspiration is to build champions,” Seddiqi said. “We see a lot of events happening in Dubai but not many participants are UAE nationals so for us, being passionate about boxing, we thought about opening 10 boxing clubs and building kids to be future champions and Olympians."
Round 10 is the first of its kind in the Gulf Region to offer structured boxing classes and Seddiqi feels the gym’s high quality-boxing guidance makes it stand out from its competitors.
“This club is different to any normal boxing club because of the quality of training we offer our customers which is extremely important,” Seddiqi said. “We don’t have any treadmills or bikes. For us the cardio is skipping, running or hitting the bag- that’s the attitude we have here.”
There have been rumours that boxing superstars Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan could fight in the Middle East and Seddiqi believes his club could play a major part if boxing showdowns of such calibre come to the UAE.
“A lot of champions have already heard about this gym through the power of social media, so I think it could be used for training and assistance if the likes of Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather come to Dubai.”
The ambitious founder hopes Round 10 can expand in the future and perhaps be a worldwide hub for boxing, adding: “We are planning to open in Abu Dhabi and other Emirates so once we see it going in the right way we will think about going international.”
Round 10 Boxing Club has recently opened in Al Quoz, Dubai and the co-owner Ahmed Seddiqi aims to build future UAE champions.
To grab gold in the absolute division at the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship, Marcos Paulo Costa had to eventually get past his friend and team-mate yesterday.
The 25-year-old beat fellow UAEJJ Training Hall fighter Celso Frabetti Junior in the final of the male black adult open weight class as the Brazilians enjoyed success in the Gi portion of the tournament at the FGB Arena in Abu Dhabi.
“It was great fighting with him because we train together every day,” Costa said. “The club trains you hard and now both of us have done well.”
Costa earlier earned bronze in the male black adult 85kg class, while Frabetti Junior topped the male black adult +95kg. With a gold already in his pocket, Frabetti Junior was happy to see his friend come away on top in the open weight.
“I didn’t want the fight between us to be about the first place or the second place,” Frabetti Junior said. “I talked to him and told him he could take first place, no problem. Because we’re friends, we train together very hard here. He needed it and for me it was no problem.”
Despite normally competing in the middle of the five weight divisions, Costa relished the opportunity to step up to open weight.
“When you train your hardest, it doesn’t matter about your weight,” Costa said. “The fighters are the same, the weight is the only thing that changes. I like to face different types of weights.”
Though they both came away with multiple medals, Costa and Frabetti Junior won’t celebrate for long, with the Sharjah Open Championship coming next month.
“After this, I’ll go and have lunch and then I’ll get back to work,” Frabetti Junior said.
Meanwhile, Jessica Cristina Santos had her fingerprints all over the female divisions, capturing gold in the brown black adult 65kg and the brown black adult open weight.
The 23-year-old Brazilian, fighting for Equipe Miquinho Jiu-Jitsu, clashed with compatriot Marina Soares Ribeiro in the final of the 65kg, before repeating the feat in a rematch in the open weight class.
It was more of the same for Santos, who came away with gold in the brown black adult open weight and silver in the brown black adult 65kg the last time she competed in the Open series in Al Ain last October.
Jordan’s Shadia Bseiso also finished with two gold medals for the women by winning the white adult 75kg and white adult open weight divisions.