Rohan Date reflects on win over Gerald Dah

Jay Asser 01:07 04/06/2016
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Date first dazed Dah with a right uppercut and followed that up with a left hook to knock him down before a right hook sealed the deal.

“It’s been about two years I’ve been waiting for it (this fight) since moving to Dubai,” Date said.

“I’ve come off the back of over 200 amateur fights from the age of 11 to now. It’s been 10, 15 years in the making. I’m just happy to have it done at this stage.

He added: “I just felt my timing with this guy got a lot better. I just started getting a range. The amateur gloves are a lot smaller, so you start learning very fast to punch very hard all of a sudden.”


The other fights saw Nicholas Mwangi TKO Patrick Kalisa in welterweight, Lasisi Aliu beat Payu Sor by unanimous decision in bantamweight and Daniel Emeka earn a split decision over Mohammed Aboubkr in super middleweight.










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Abarra claims KO victory over Sak

Jay Asser 00:43 04/06/2016
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The Filipino dropped Chansaknoi Sak in the first round of the bantamweight clash to cap the professionally organised boxing event at Ahdaaf Sports Club Friday night.

The knockout over the more experienced Sak was as much a surprise to Abarra as it was to the crowd in attendance expecting a drawn-out battle.

“I just planned to finish all six rounds and to get some points, so I didn’t expect that I was going to kick his a** first round,” said Abarra, who entered with seven professional fights since turning pro in 2010.

“I don’t focus on how many fights I have. I just want to put my attention and mind on the ring. That’s it.”


His winning sequence featured a devastating left hook which caught Sak square in the face and sent him collapsing to the canvas.








“I watched him always moving in his previous fight, so I said to myself to plan in the first round for jabs and a straight hook and it worked,” Abarra said.


The knockout was one of four entertaining early finishes in the event, which was commissioned by PBC (Professional Boxing Commission) International and had the participation of three UAE-based gyms, including Round 10 Boxing Club.


Deo Kizito set the stage for Abarra with his own knockout win against Kosol Sor in the super lightweight division.


The Ugandan pugilist gained steam in the second round when he knocked down Sor before ending with a flurry before the bell.


Kizito then made short work in the third as he finished off his opponent with a crunching left hook.


“In the first round, I was settling in. I wanted to see the way he was moving and how he was punching,” said Kizito, who moved his record to a perfect 8-0. “In the second round, I knew his strong points and weak points. I saw him have his body open, so I was going for the body and then for the head.


“Before the third round, my corner told me I would win this fight, but they were telling me just to understand him, not to rush and don’t go for the knockout. I wanted him to box, but I was ready.”




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INTERVIEW: Chris Eubank Jr on his father and "slow" Golovkin

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Eubank Jr

Life outside the boxing ring has changed drastically for Chris Eubank Jr. The 26-year-old has emerged from the shadow of his father and namesake, one of the most successful boxers in modern British history, to capture notoriety of his own. With it, he now finds himself under the watchful eye of mainstream media and in the firing line of social media critics.

Yet, when faced with an avalanche of attention, Eubank has demonstrated a level of maturity and, in light of recent events, sensitivity, which has earned him support for more than just his slick skills in the squared circle.

This new-found level of prominence did not come in the fashion he imagined, though.

Earlier this year Eubank challenged British champion Nick Blackwell for the middleweight title. He was victorious with the fight eventually stopped in the 10th round but the air in the aftermath was not filled with celebration, it was occupied by concern.

At the conclusion of the fight, Blackwell collapsed. On the way to hospital, he flatlined and momentarily died. The 25-year-old would later spend over a week in an induced coma on life support as physicians battled swelling and a bleed on his brain.

Thankfully, Blackwell came through the other side but has since been forced to retire from the sport. It brought back sombre memories for the man sat ringside that night, Eubank Sr, who had fought an infamous bout 25 years earlier against Michael Watson – a man he defeated but would leave with permanent disabilities. Many argue that night changed the elder Eubank as a fighter, that his finishing instinct was blunted by the mental scars left by inflicting Watson’s injuries.

Junior will return to the ring for the first time since the Blackwell fight on June 25 to defend the British strap against unbeaten Welshman Tom Doran.

And given that a brush with tragedy took something from his father, it is only natural to wonder if history will repeat itself. Not a chance, says Junior, who insists he climbs back into the ring with a clear conscience, his focus more intense than ever.

“It hasn’t changed me as far as I guess my father,” Eubank Jr tells Sport360 in Dubai.

“It affected him in the sense that in his future fights, he’s thinking he doesn’t want this to happen again. Maybe he would back off or tailor his fighting style. I haven’t fought since [the Blackwell fight] but I know I’m not going to lose the ferociousness and the relentlessness I have in the ring.

“I have too much to achieve in my career and I know that if I have those thoughts in the back of my mind, it’s only going to affect me negatively. It will put me in danger. I have to be even more ferocious in the ring now because I know that these things can happen.

“This isn’t a movie or a story I’ve read about, I’ve put somebody in hospital so I know that can happen to anybody.

“That realisation has made me train harder and focus even more because I can’t let that happen to me. I have all these things I want to achieve and I’m not going to let anything get in my way. I have to be even more of a beast.”

Indeed, he does, because come through the bout with Doran unscathed and bigger tests await with some of the most feared fighters in boxing topping Eubank’s list of targets. He makes no secret of his desire for a rematch with WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders – the man who in 2014 provided the sole blemish on his 22-1 record. Their clash did little to temper the bad blood between the pair, largely because of the close nature of the fight, and a series of back-and-forth jibes have since reignited the feud. The mention of his name draws more authority and direction from an otherwise relaxed Eubank, and when he explains just why they clash, he describes Saunders as “not a good guy” adding that his rival “isn’t a worthy world champion”.

“That’s what we’re looking for [a rematch with Saunders]. I’ve made it very clear and I was saying it to him while I was fighting Nick Blackwell. In the middle of our fight I was turning around to him and Tyson Fury [sat ringside] and saying ‘lets go, lets get it on’,” he explains.

“That’s the fight everyone wants to see and the fact he is a world champion now just makes it even more of a spectacular opportunity. It’s all to gain from a fight like that.

“He gets absolutely nothing from me this time around. The line ‘give them nothing but take from them everything’ is exactly what I’ll be doing with Saunders.”

Eubank Jr factfile

  • Age: 28
  • Title held: WBA World middleweight
  • Fights: 23
  • W: 22 L:1 KO: 17

At 160lbs the options are good and if a rematch with Saunders can’t be agreed then Eubank has other big names in his sights.

Mexican golden boy Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Kazakhstan’s KO king Gennady Golovkin are two star names that are most attractive.

“If I can’t get the Saunders fight then I’ll take on one of those guys (Canelo or Golovkin),” says a confident Eubank.

“I believe they’re both more than beatable. I don’t have a preference, I’ll take on whichever one is going to make me the most money.

“If you beat one of them, you’re automatically considered one of the best in the world in the division. If I fight Canelo, you catch me, I’m not going to go down and then what? If you tag me, I’m going to laugh in your face afterwards, I’m not going to go down.

“I love that fight. It would be a huge fight and one I’d be very confident I could win. I have the boxing skills and I have a chin as well.

“He’s slow and so is Golovkin. The thing is, they have that power, that equaliser. If they catch guys they will hurt you. If you don’t have a chin they will stop you. But against someone who can box and move and take a punch, I don’t see them being able to deal with that.”

Conversation with Eubank Jr invariably gravitates towards his father. But his desire is not to emulate the former middle and supermiddleweight champ, it’s to cement a legacy of his own. He laughs at how he’s defied those, who, in his words, thought he “would turn to modelling”, and having inherited the trademark Eubank athleticism and punching power, Junior is confident of one day surpassing his old man’s achievements.

“That’s my goal. That’s definitely what I’m working towards,” he adds.  “But it’s not so much I want to be better than my dad. I don’t think about my father when I’m boxing. I’m focusing on me and what I have to do. It’s not about him. People are always going to compare us, there’s no getting away from that.

“But as the years go by and as I fight more and more, I only separate myself from him.”

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