Ridhwan, Ambunda rematch postponed

Ringstar is now looking at staging the bout in July, although the venue could now also change.

11 February 2019 | Sports

THE STRAITS TIMES



Singaporean professional boxer Muhamad Ridhwan will have to wait a little longer for his chance to avenge his loss to Namibian boxer Paulus Ambunda, after fight promoter Ringstar announced on Friday that the bout has been postponed.

Muhamad Ridhwan was scheduled to face Paulus Ambunda on 29 March for the World Boxing Council (WBC) silver featherweight title at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, in what is the biggest fight for any Singaporean boxer.

But eight weeks out, Ringstar said in a post on its Facebook page that it took the decision to cut next month's show “due to certain developments and in the best interest of everyone".

Ringstar chief executive Scott O' Farrell told The Straits Times that he felt his company could not deliver the standard of show it wanted.

"Things were dragging, being delayed, it's just one of those things, really," he said.

"Personally, I'm very disappointed we couldn't deliver the show as scheduled, but this is what the business is about.

"We could have done a show on 29 March, but it would have been substandard, and it is not how Ringstar wants to be portrayed."

When asked if Ringstar encountered funding problems, he said: "No, it's not an issue at all.

"It's more an issue of things like the lead time for our marketing, our sponsors and partners."

Ticket sales for the 29 March event, which had been scheduled for 18 January, did not go "live", he added.

The Briton also said that he is looking at staging the show in July, although he said there could be a change in venue.

"We'll see how things go on, and if they (the Sports Hub, which manages the Singapore Indoor Stadium) are okay with the change in date," he said.

Ridhwan, who is in the middle of a three-month long training camp in the Philippines, took the announcement in his stride.

"As much as this is unwanted, I also believe that everything has got its time and place," the 31-year-old, who is the 25th-ranked featherweight fighter in the world by the WBC, told The Strait Times.

"I think all these events happen just to teach me and prepare me for my destiny, which is to be a champion.

"Ringstar will keep me active in the meantime till I fight again on home soil."

O'Farrell said Ridhwan is scheduled to fight twice on 23 Marchand 1 May in the Philippines, to keep him primed for the Ambunda rematch.

Last September, the Singaporean lost a split decision to Ambunda after 12 rounds in a fight for the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) world super bantamweight title, his only defeat in 12 professional fights.

This is not the first hitch in the road to Ridhwan's rematch with Ambunda.

Last month, he shocked the fraternity when he announced his "retirement" on social media, but made a U-turn two days later, explaining that a "clash of ideas" and "arguments" had compelled him to write the post, although he did not want to reveal who the disagreements were with.

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