Sheikh Fahad Bin Khalid Al Thani is Qatar’s very own professional boxer and the first of his kind in the country. He was born on 20 September 1987 and is part of the Al Thani family. So, far Sheikh Fahad has won all 13 of his professional boxing games and continues to fly the Qatari flag high with his, so far, unbeatable streak of winning.
Sheikh Fahad made his debut as a boxer in Croatia against Bela Sandor from Hungary on 7 May 2016 and has been boxing his way to victory since. He has gained victory against Romanian boxers Adrian Parlogea (thrice), Gheorghe Ghiompirica (twice), Racaru (twice), Marius Petre Sorin (twice), Ionut Bogheanu, Dumitru Nicu Manea and Marius Racaru till date.
When he decided to turn boxer, many people in his community discouraged him and couldn’t understand why he would want to become a boxer, but the support from his own family, and especially his mother, kept him going.
In fact, he owes his foray into boxing to his mother who loved sports and was often talking about legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and other boxing champions like Joe Frazier. It was because of her that Sheikh Fahad developed a keen interest in sports and fell in love with boxing when he was eight years old, but it wasn’t till he was 16 that he actively started boxing, after a stint with martial arts that he took up when he was 12 years of age. He also played as junior team goalkeeper before switching his football for boxing gloves.
He never thought, at the time, that he would actually become a professional boxer. He just wanted to make friends since he was a bit of an introvert, and boxing helped him open up and become more confident.
Sheikh Fahad is a big fan of Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Sugar Ray Robinson, “Prince” Naseem Hamed, Chris Eubank and Mike Tyson. He used to watch their fights and gained much inspiration from these boxing greats.
Though his mother is the one who encouraged him to take on boxing, she never goes to his fights, and instead, prays for him, and this is what gives him his growing confidence as a professional Qatari boxer and pushes him to achieve more.
When Sheikh Fahad was 17, he went off to the UK to study International Business, with a specialisation in Marketing and Finance at the American Intercontinental University of London. While in London, this young boxer decided he wanted to take boxing more seriously and take it to a professional level. That’s when he met Franck Bohec, his trainer, whom he went on to train with in Doha.
Sheikh Fahad represented the Qatar national team in some amateur championships. He spent four years with the team and learnt a lot. He lost to 2006 Asian Games bronze medallist Huzam Nabah in the welterweight final of the Doha Open in 2014. Quickly realising that he needed to test himself more if he was to become a professional boxer and take on big names in the boxing world, he had to venture out into the world, and that’s when famed Cuban coach Ismael Antonio Salas came into the picture.
In the meantime, Sheikh Fahad got married and also completed his military service in Qatar. Though he loved Qatar, this super-lightweight felt that he needed to challenge himself more and get out of his comfort zone if he wanted to take on world boxers.
Since he joined hands with Bohec and Salas, his boxing career has gone from strength to strength and Sheikh Fahad made his world debut in 2016.
Sheikh Fahad already has an impressive boxing record that includes over 40 fights for Qatar in different international competition, and when he feels the pressure, he deals with it by turning it into motivation so he can bring the best of himself out and with time, he has learnt to use his body as a weapon through coordination and focus so he can emerge victorious! He knows only consistency and hard work equal success, and he continues to push himself to be the best.
That's why he has won all 11 matches of his career in a short span of four years and looks forward to more such wins!
Though physical training is a very important part of any sport, and you can find Sheikh Fahad working out and training on an almost everyday basis, mental training is also equally important. That’s why, before every fight he tells himself that he has to stay positive, remain calm and give it his best shot because losing is not an option.
Though throwing punches is part of the game, Sheikh Fahad tries to stay focused when he’s in the ring and, even though his aim is to win, his intention is never to severely hurt his opponent. In fact, when he prays, he remembers to include his opponent in his prayers before a big fight.
Today, he spends time in Las Vegas -well known for boxing amongst other things - and regularly spars with the world’s number one lightweight champion Jorge Linares and IBF lightweight champion Rances Barthelemy, from whom he has learned a lot.
And, when he’s not training and upping his game, this Qatari sportsman, continues to run in the mornings and exercise at the gym. He also likes reading autobiographies and watching movies. His favourite is ‘Raging Bull.’
Al Sadd is his favourite team and when they play, Sheikh Fahad becomes very passionate because his mother supports them, and so, in his heart, they are attached with her.
As Qatar’s only professional boxer, Sheikh Fahad continues to fly the flag of Qatar high in the tournaments he has participated in and looks forward to blazing a trail for other young boxers in Qatar. One of his future aspirations is to create more awareness about boxing among the youth of Qatar, and his goal is to make Qatar the hub for professional boxing in the Gulf region, something that we are sure he will be able to achieve.
Do you like boxing? Did you know that Qatar has a professional boxer? Do let us know in our Comments section. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!
Cover image source: Doha News
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