On April 20,2018, Muhammad Ridhwan of Singapore will put his undefeated record on the line against hard-hitting Filipino Jeson Umbal for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Intercontinental featherweight title.
The fight is bannered as the main event of Ringstar Management’s “Roar of Singapore 4”.
Ringstar Management operates out of Singapore and is headed by its founder and CEO, Scott O’Farrell. The “Roar Series” as Mr. O’Farrell refers to their flagship event is now on its fourth leg. The first three events showcased engaging matches featuring multicultural matchmaking which has been a fuel for the growth of the series.
The Ridhwan-Umbal match-up is no exception.
THE UNDEFEATED “WAN”
Ridhwan boasts of 9 wins with no losses. Seven of those 9 wins came via a knockout. Ridhwan promises to keep that streak.
Although it did not end with a knockout, interestingly enough, Ridhwan’s last fight against Nathaniel Sebastian made the Singaporean a stronger boxer. Nathaniel came into that fight undefeated as well and looked determined to beat Ridhwan.
It was a bell to bell affair with neither one of them backing down. Both boxers were giving shots and taking them as well. In the end, the more fundamentally sound Ridhwan did enough to take the fight via a split decision.
Ridhwan revealed that he could take a punch, in a fact a lot of punches. Ridhwan matured quickly in that fight as his fortitude was tested by the ever charging Nathaniel. The Singaporean kept his composure and countered effectively at the best opportunities.
THE HUNGRY FILIPINO BOXER
Before getting to this big stage, Jeson Umbal had to find himself first. Jeson began his career in Cebu Philippines and journeyed across South East Asia fighting in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. However, fighting Ridhwan for the IBO belt is the biggest fight of his life.
Speaking in Filipino, Jeson shares, “Hindi ako sanay dito. First time ko sa ganito. Pero gagawin ko lahat ng kaya ko para manalo” (I am not used to this. It is my first time in a card like this. But I will do all I can to win”)
What Jeson brings to the table is an attacking kind of fight heavily dependent on his left straight. Most if not all of the 11 knockouts he has scored was from that left hand.
Ridhwan admits that Jeson packs power. Ridhwan was able to watch Umbal work the heavy bag during their media workout in Manila. Jeson on the other hand, intimated that fighting in Singapore clearly gives Ridhwan the home ring advantage. The Filipino feels that the only way to win is to knock out “The Chosen Wan” in his own backyard.
“BRING IT ON!” SAYS RIDHWAN
Ridhwan although noting the power of Jeson, pointed out that he feels that his opponent is slow. “He (Umbal) needs to catch me first,” says the clearly confident Ridhwan.
April 20 will showcase finesse and style of Ridhwan versus the power and aggression of Umbal. With a match up like this, the viewer is the winner.
A co-main event will come before this fight. This will feature another Filipino Michael Dasmarinas (28-2-0) against Frenchman Karim Gueriff (26-3-0) as they face each other for the IBO bantamweight world title.
Written by :
Mike Ochosa is a boxing analyst for TV having called 12 of Pacquiao’s fights. He has also worked as an international boxing analyst for Ringstar Promotions of Singapore. He was President of Punchout Boxing Club and has had the privilege of managing and training several professional fighters.
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