I put my neck and reputation on the line on this fight. Most people thought it would be another announced UAE fight that would not happen. As a result, I now feel vindicated that we did it.
New York, NY (PRWEB) December 30, 2013
Lion Heart Boxing Promotions, Ltd., a Boxing Promotion and Sports & Entertainment Company based in Kinnelon, New Jersey (USA), is pleased to announce that it successfully has promoted the first-ever live professional boxing event in Abu Dhabi history, Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island.
Lion Heart Boxing Productions introduced live professional boxing to Abu Dhabi on December 19, 2013 by producing a version of its acclaimed Thursday Night Fights series at the 5,000-capacity du Forum, a Global Spectrum managed venue, and located on one of the world’ leading tourist destinations Yas Island. The event initially scheduled was for October 17, 2013 but was moved to December 19, 2013 due to the failure of several fighters, including key fighters, to obtain visas.
In Abu Dhabi’s maiden live pro boxing show, former two-time British Heavyweight Champion and Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion Danny Williams (48-17) defeated Egyptian journeyman Mazur Ali (10-9), thereby ending a nine-fight losing streak. Williams, who was losing on all scorecards, won when Ali retired the beginning of the fifth round. Fellow British boxer Nasser Al Harbi (18-1) hammered a very technical decision over eight rounds over an aggressive and very determined Georgian opponent, Giorgi Ungiadze (23-11).
The fight of the night, as expected however, was the long anticipated grudge match between Dubai’s Mohammad Ali Bayat Farid (4-0) and Abdul Kabbani (3-2). Kabbani, ever the exciting swarmer and brawler, started aggressively as he did in the first fight between the two. Bayat, true to form, stayed patient and boxed his way out of trouble. Bayat jabbed his way through the first two rounds and eventually gained control in the third round as Kabbani tired. As the fight went into the fourth round, Bayat was able to unleash combinations and landed several blows, almost at will. While he stood his ground and gave it his all, Kabbani was forced to retire when his trainer threw in the towel at the beginning of the fifth round.
In another notable bout, former Arthur Abraham opponent Stjepan Bozic (28-7, 19 KOs) was victorious when Paata Vardaushvili (26-8-2, 21 KOs) stayed on his stool after round four in a super middleweight bout. Bozic is a contender and has been ranked as high as Number 8 in the world.
Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island also witnessed the successful pro debuts of Emirati Ahmed Al Ali (1-0), who escaped a very tough fight and long night when his opponent Abbas Mohammed (0-1) was disqualified for a head butt in the second round and Lebanese Rabih Fayad (1-0), who stopped Boubaker Masrar (0-1) in the second round (by TKO). Both Al Ali and Fayad are Dubai residents.
Rounding out the fight card was Mohammad Reza (2-0) of Iran beating Hakim Wahid (0-1) of Morocco by KO, 3 rounds; and Hamza Bouaoud (2-0) of France over Mehdi Ramezani (1-2-1) of by decision.
Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island very well could be the impetus that boxing in the UAE needed to get going. “While Abu Dhabi’s first professional fight night failed to attract much of a crowd, it was a resounding success in Lion Heart Boxing Productions’ estimation” according to company CFO and event coordinator Edward B. Mendy. “Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island has demonstrated that the UAE is not without potential boxing stars as Al Ali, Bayat, Bouaoud, Fayad and Reza all shined spectacularly in their fights. All that has been missing is an avenue for UAE fighters to shine. Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island provided the start that many boxers in the UAE have been graving for and it should well shape the sport’s future in the country as we promote more events. More importantly, it has proven to the world that a pro boxing fight can be actually be promoted in Abu Dhabi after many false starts.”
Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island is now in the books as Abu Dhabi’s first pro boxing event. Says Mendy, “While are honored to be the first to do it, we are happy that the fight is now behind us. I would be lying to you if I said that promoting the first pro boxing fight in Abu Dhabi was easy. Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island is a fight that was never supposed to happen. To start with, we were promoting a boxing event in the Grappling Capital of the World. As a result, we expected the going to be tough. However, nothing could have prepared us for some of the challenges we experienced with the event. First of all, our initial co-promoter and financial partner Mikael Amon and Europe’s Top Team pulled out unceremoniously. Then, we had to move the initial event date from October 17 to December 19 due to unexpected visa issues. Further, several of our local partners and sponsors pulled out or failed to keep their end of the bargain. To boot, our initial TV broadcaster, Abu Dhabi Media, pulled out due to ‘production difficulties and an unexpected scheduling conflict.’ To make matters worse, little of the support, sponsorship and ticket sales we were promised actually materialized. In spite of it all, we soldiered on and made it happen. But for Lion Heart Boxing Promotions’ determination to do the fight regardless of cost and obstacles faced, the event never would have happened. That the fight took place is a miracle in and of itself.”
Mendy added, “I put my neck and reputation on the line on this one. Most people thought it would be another announced UAE fight that would not happen. As a result, I now feel vindicated. We thank Dubai Sports for stepping in as broadcaster. We also thank all of those who helped us make history in Abu Dhabi. We appreciate the enthusiasm of the vocal and knowledgeable fans that attended the event. We marvel at the excitement the local fighters were able to generate and look forward to bigger and better fight cards in Abu Dhabi. Special thanks go to Miral, UAE Boxing Federation and Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their continued support.”
With the December 19, 2013, Lion Heart Boxing Promotions not only because the first company to promote a professional boxing event in Abu Dhabi history, but also Lion Heart Boxing Promotions became the first non-UAE company to promote a professional boxing event in the United Arab Emirates. Numerous promoters, including top promoters such as Don King, Bob Arum’s Top Rank, and Oscar Dela Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions have tried to make fights in the UAE but none were able to pull it off before Lion Heart Boxing Productions.
Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island was broadcasted live on Dubai Sports Television on December 19. It continues to be rebroadcast on Dubai Sports Television and also will be televised in the USA in over 100 Million American cable homes. Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island will be syndicated regionally and in other markets, as feasible.
Lion Heart Boxing Productions’ next event in the UAE is planned for late February in Dubai and the next fight in the Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island series should be held a month later in March 2014.
About Lion Heart Boxing Promotions (the Promoter)
Lion Heart Boxing Productions is a global Boxing Promoter and Sports Entertainment Company based in the U.S. The company was set up in 2001 for the sole purpose of providing top quality events with highest entertainment value and has promoted boxing events on four continents. The Company quickly earned a reputation as a producer of high quality fights and is well respected for its fair treatment of fighters and commitment to fighters' rights. Lion Heart Boxing Promotions is proud to be the first promoter to stage a live professional boxing event in Abu Dhabi history and the first and only non-UAE Company to successfully promote a professional boxing fight in the UAE to date.
About Thursday Night Fights
Thursday Night Fights is proven as the oldest continuous live professional boxing series with its genesis in the USA. The fight series was started by Jim Patton in 1988 and Lion Heart Boxing Productions has been promoting a version of Thursday Night Fights since 2001. Each year, from October to April, Thursday Night Fights produces 24 to 26 boxing shows with the highest entertainment at the Egan Center in Anchorage, Alaska with sellout crowds. While Thursday Night Fights shows have been promoted in other cities, Thursday Night Fights’ long and uninterrupted production streak in Alaska dating to 1988 makes Thursday Night Fights the longest continuous boxing series in history. Part of Thursday Night Fights already can be seen on national TV in the USA as The Alaskan Brawlers Reality Show, which debut January 9, 2013 on US cable network TruTV. Thursday Night Fights’ 2013-14 season of will be produced Lion Heart Boxing Productions in association with Jim Patton Promotions and be televised in the USA as well.
For more information about Lion Heart Boxing Productions, Ltd., Thursday Night Fights @ Yas Island, or the Thursday Night Fights series, please call Edward B. Mendy, Chief Financial Officer, at +1-973-650-9721 or +971-55-303-1016 (UAE) or write to him at ebmendy(at)LionHeartBoxingProductions(dot)com or 480 Laurel Lane, Kinnelon, NJ 07405.
For print stories, JPEG photos of the fighters and events are available upon request by calling Serda Anderson, Vice President, Public Relations at (504) 628-7866.