Rival boxing charity ball give amateur fighters a cause to fight for _ mma insider – yahoo sports singapore
By Rachael Short
The Malaysian Association of Coffee and Tea Innovation (MACATI) held the charity boxing ball “The Rival: Coffee vs. Tea” in aid of poor families through the MyKasih Foundation this past weekend and it went down as a treat for both the casual and fight fans!
Whilst guests relaxed and nibbled on delicious food at the black-tie event at the Seri Pacific Hotel in Kuala Lumpur,
10 amateur fighters from boxing gyms across the Klang Valley went head-to-head in heartfelt battles.
The card also included two female fights, one of which was a battle between former Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Art’s (MIMMA) contestants Samantha Tan and Gladys Molling. Both fighters made it through the entire season to the contender round (the last match before the final round held in Stadium Putra) in MIMMA 3, before being knocked out of the tournament. Many fans of MIMMA had been looking forward to an explosive battle between the two strikers in the finale, and were disappointed to see them fall at the last hurdle. The Rival event deemed a perfect opportunity for the two to finally square off, much the fan’s delight.
Speaking of her opponent, Gladys remarked,“Samantha approached me and asked me if I would be interested to be her opponent in the Rival boxing event. During MIMMA many supporters wanted us to be in the grand finale fighting each other so we thought it would be a good idea particularly because it was for a charity event.
“Throughout the MIMMA journey I also found out that we have so many similarities. We have similar martial arts background in Wushu, we have similar tastes and even we share the same birthday. Before our recent match we also chose the same walkout song! She is like my mirror.’’
Both girls battled it out for three rounds with equal hunger for the win before the fight was awarded to Samantha.
Gladys and Sam are not only skilled in boxing but they are now seen as one of the few female fighters pioneering MMA as a sport for women in Malaysia and South East Asia. And it is the rise of more and more events such as the Rival Charity Ball and MIMMA which is giving the opportunity for the sport to recognized for both sexes in the traditionally conservative Malaysia.
‘’MIMMA gave me a lot of opportunities, it’s the biggest amateur tournament for MMA so I feel happy that females had the chance to tryout this season. My dream was to be the first MIMMA female champion but I can see that I have a lot to learn and that is my goal. It’s not about the winning it’s about how much I can absorb and learn,” said Gladys.
The 25-year-old kick boxer is known by her team mates for her strong will and for good reason too: ‘’Mentally, I am very strong. Even if I am told the opponent is very good it won’t affect me emotionally. I also have the great support of the people around me. In particular my coaches and my sparring partners at Titans Fight team at HIT Gym. . They never stop pushing me to the limit. Training is much harder than the competition but that makes me stronger. Without them I wouldn’t get so far.’’
Ray Sinniah who is also from Titan’s fight team also agrees that mental preparation is key. Even more so for the 44-year-old who faced a lot of support, but also concern, from those who weren’t in agreement of his decision to fight in the ring.
“I’ve been doing martial arts on and off since my teenage years. The last few years I have been training more regularly and I found myself in the role of someone who could help fighters and motivate them. This was the perfect opportunity to test my skills as a competitor because it is a charity match.
“Some people tried to talk me down and discourage me from competing and other people urged me to reconsider. They even asked if I’m crazy. Day to day I am a business man and I am twenty years older than my opponent so they warned me of permanent injuries and reminded me that ‘I’m not what I used to be’,” said ‘Sugar Ray’, as he is affectionately known by his team mates, before his fight with Chester Clive Thomas of TNT Kickboxing.
The Rival Boxing match certainly drew many fighters from all walks of life. Some of those who attended would have also spotted Zawan Anwar a former bodybuilder turned martial artist who now owns Maximus Fight Academy.
Zawan decided to start learning Kickboxing in 2005 after stumbling across TNT Kickboxing gym.
‘’I was curious what the buzz with kickboxing was all about all about. So I approached Master Khoo Meng Yang who is now my main coach and I asked him if I was too big to train in this sport. Back then I was 111kg of lean muscle.
He encouraged me to give it a go and I lasted just five minutes. I had never felt so tired in all my life but at the same time I felt so good and stress free. I felt that the sweat that comes out carries all the stress away.
“I soon got hooked to the adrenaline rush. Bodybuilding can be extremely stressful, constantly watching my diet and putting enormous stress on the body but with martial arts I didn’t need to restrict my diet because of the cardio and I felt that it was a great stress reliever.”
Zawan has since competed in various Sanda championships and professional Muay Thai events. With the development of his growing family other priorities have taken the lead however Rival was a perfect chance to step in the ring to support the MyKasih foundation.
MyKasih supports underprivileged and it’s funded by Dialogue an oil and gas company. They use MyCard so the family can obtain good by swiping in certain stores. The transaction process ensures that donations are used for the benefit of the person.
To show your support please visit: https://www. facebook. com/MyKasih-Foundation