With a completely sold-out crowd at the Foo Chow Building in Singapore, and televised to around 100 million homes across Asia by Eleven Sports Network, arguably the biggest professional boxing event in Singapore history went ahead on Friday night, February 17.
Billed as “The Roar of Singapore”, the show featured no less than four Universal Boxing Organization™ (UBO) championship fights, involving boxer from seven countries, supported by a strong undercard with local up-and-coming talent. Promoter was Scott Patrick O´Farrell and his Ringstar Management Ltd.
The headlining fight saw unbeaten Canadian power-house Ryan “Real Deal” Ford win the vacant UBO World Light Heavyweight title in a fast-paced give-and-take battle with former IBO titlist Sam “The Terror” Rapira from New Zealand.
Both fighters came to fight hard, and both had their moments as the spectators enjoyed the action from the very first round. Rapira tried to keep the charging Ford at bey, but as the bout progressed it became increasingly harder for him to do so.
The end came in round nine, when Ford, who had lanced some massive shots previously, hurt Rapira with a combination and followed up to finish his wobbly foe. As he went in for the kill, the corner of Rapira had seen enough and threw in the towel, making Ford the winner by technical knockout.
The new UBO World Light Heavyweight Champion, ahead on all scorecards by 79-73, 79-73 and 80-71 at the time of the stoppage, took his ledger to 10-0 (6), while Rapira drops to 15-4 (10).
Before the main course, local Singapore-favorite Rafi “The Ruffian” Majid remained undefeated, as he captured the vacant UBO Asia-Pacific Super Middleweight crown with a devastating first round knockout of former world title-challenger Plaisakda Boonmalert from Thailand. Time of stoppage was 2:01.
In winning his first professional title, Majid also became Singapore´s first ever male professional boxing champion as he improved his record to 4-0 (4). Floored twice, hard-punching and experienced Boonmalert never got a chance to find his rhythm, and travels back to Bangkok at 39-26 (33).
Reigning UBO Asia-Pacific Light Heavyweight ruler “Miracle” Mirage Khan, AKA Muhammad Meeraj, added the vacant UBO Inter-Continental title to his collection by stopping Australian Jake “The Snake” Gathercole in round four.
Malaysia´s Khan started strong to force the finish and consequently improve his record to 8-1 (4). Gathercole, far more competent than his statistics suggest, falls to 4-7-1 (2).
Finally, New Zealand prospect Benjamin Kelleher impressed as he claimed the vacant UBO Asia-Pacific Cruiserweight title with aconvincing third round knockout of the much more experienced Satria Antasena from Indonesia.
A professional boxer for only five months, Kelleher upped his record to 3-0-1 (2) in the paid ranks. Antasena is now 10-9 (4).
Also on the card, UBO Female Inter-Continental Super Featherweight champion and Singaporean Nurshahidah “The Sniper” Roslie, 5-1 (3), stopped Ratsadaporn Khiaosopa from Thailand in the second round of a non-title fight.