DOHA, 9 OCTOBER 2015: After the mania caused by Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquaio across the capital yesterday, the scene was set for another explosive day of elite boxing at the world-class Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena.
Despite Pacquaio leaving Qatar late last night the prospect of a swift return to Doha for a comeback bout against challenger Amir Khan was heighted further with Khan landing into Qatar today. Khan, the current holder of the WBC Silver welterweight title and a former British silver medalist at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games is expected to witness for himself the global showpiece in Doha from tomorrow.
Following four consecutive days of world-class boxing in Doha Yousuf Ali Al Kazim, President of Qatar Boxing Federation, and Executive Director of the signature event in association with Qatar Olympic Committee, said:
“Stage by stage the standard and entertainment keeps on increasing and the class of the boxers is really starting to show. This is when we start to see the real world championship contenders emerge. To see boxing of this skill and quality live in the heart of Doha all within this state-of-the-art facility really is a spectacle to behold. We’re thrilled that so many within the community of Qatar have turned out in force to support the event and join fans from around the world in this celebration of sport. I’ve no doubt boxing has a very bright future in Qatar and this event will leave a lasting legacy on future generation. We couldn’t be happier with how things are going especially with stars like Manny Pacquaio attending yesterday and now Amir Khan confirmed to share the championship experience tomorrow.”
With interest for boxing booming across the country, local communities once again came out in numbers for the last day of the preliminaries. In one of the early bouts in the afternoon session, Cuba’s reigning world lightweight champion, Lazaro Alavarez, took on Thai champion Pachanya Longchin.
Backed by vociferous support from the stands, Alvarez had no trouble living up to the favorite tag and booked his place in the quarter-finals. Speaking after winning on unanimous decision, the Cuban favorite said:
“I’m happy to through to the next round. It was a tough fight against a very skilled opponent. I’ve come to Doha to defend my title, and I feel confident that I’ll succeed.”
Another reigning world champion in the ring today was Kazakhstan’s welterweight pugilist Daniyar Yeleussinov, who easily defeated Pavel Kastramin from Belarus. Winning 3:0 on points, the Kazakh favorite is racing towards his second consecutive world-title:
“It feels great to win my first bout, but I know that I’ll be facing far tougher opposition in the coming rounds. I just need to get my head down and work even harder. There’s no other way,” Yeleussinov said.
For the Philippines, meanwhile, Eumir Marcial went up against stiff competition in the name of Youba Sissokho Ndiaye from Spain. The 19-year-old junior world welterweight champion, making only his second senior appearance in the World Championships, looked inspired in the ring after meeting his idol Manny Pacquaio yesterday.
Speaking after his narrow 2:1 win, Marcial said:
“It was amazing to meet Manny. He said that I should go out there and dominate my opponent so that the judges can see my aggression. I think the bout went well, and I’m thrilled to be through to the quarter-finals. I think I’ll be up against the world no. 1 in the next round, so it’ll be really hard to stay in the competition, but I’ll do my best to get to the final.”
For Qatar’s Hakan Murst Nuraydin the competition is over after being defeated by Mikhail Dauhaliavets of Belarus on unanimous decision, bringing an end to the incredible journey for the light heavyweight boxer which has catapulted him from the local gym to the world stage on home soil.
“I did my best, but it was hard as my opponent had an extra day’s rest. My legs were tired and I had to focus to stay in the three rounds. Right now I’m of course very disappointed, but I thank the Qatar Boxing Federation for this wonderful opportunity of competing in the World Championships at home in front of friends and family.”
The latter stages of the marquee event is set to kick off tomorrow with the first quarter-finals.
For more information, please see www.boxing2015.qa. Tickets can be purchased online at virgintickets.qa, in Virgin Megastores in Villaggio and Landmark Malls, as well as the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena throughout the World Championships.
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