Rising Stars Arabia returns to Abu Dhabi with ‘The Revolution’ boxing showcase
Abu Dhabi is gearing up for the much-anticipated return of Rising Stars Arabia, titled “The Revolution,” at Yas Links on Saturday, Jan. 13, featuring some of the region’s leading and emerging boxers.
This premier fighting series is presented by AAM Seddiqi Sports and supported by the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi.
The headline bout will feature Morocco’s Moussa Gholam, currently 14th in the WBC featherweight rankings, facing off against South Africa’s Lunga Sitemela.
“I’m very happy to fight here in an Arab country like the UAE — I want to give my best this Saturday,” Gholam said.
The UAE’s national champion Fahad Al-Bloushi will take on Venezuela’s Milner Mercano in the co-main event.
“Seddiqi Sports is a pioneer because they’re doing boxing events that help promote Arab fighters,” said Al-Bloushi. “I think that’s really great because I’ve seen a lot of great talents within the Arab region. A lot of Arab fighters do have great talent but lack the support and recognition. This platform, I believe, is an amazing opportunity that can nurture and encourage Arab fighters to go ahead and achieve their dreams.”
Al-Bloushi highlighted the focus on grassroots boxing. “This is a really big platform, a big show. Also, being streamed on DAZN, I feel like it could really bring a lot of exposure within the region. So I’m really happy to be a part of and really blessed to be a part of the show. I feel like I’ll showcase a lot of talent and hopefully showcase what the Arab world can do.”
Bringing a touch of big-time boxing to the occasion will be legendary ring announcer Ralph Velez Jr., renowned for his work with Floyd Mayweather and other superstars.
Having previously presented several events in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, “Ramblin’ Ralph” expressed his interest in the burgeoning boxing scene in the Middle East.
“I have a lot of emotions about it,” he said. “I know that boxing in the Middle East is in the grassroots effort, yet it’s already starting to take center stage.”
“I cannot wait to keep coming back and keep showcasing and announcing these names of future world champions,” he added. “Like Bader Samreen (from Jordan), who the first time I saw him, I knew instantly that he would become a force in the world and a future world champion. There’s no denying that. I’m glad that I get to be the voice for these guys from the inception and hopefully all the way up to their opportunity to fight for a world title.”
Fadi Altal, known for his popular Boxing Arabia platform, also highlighted the vital role Rising Stars Arabia plays in nurturing fighters.
“Rising Stars Arabia gives the Arab fighters a platform where they can chase their dream of becoming recognized internationally and one day to become world champion,” he said.
“It also complements everything that’s happening in the region in terms of mega events happening around here. It’s a continuation of what started as a focus on boxing on an international stage to also host upcoming Arab prospects and fighters.”
He credited Ahmed Seddiqi, the driving force behind the initiative, for his commitment to growing boxing in the region and supporting Arab talent.
“Ahmed also founded Round 10 Boxing Club 10 years ago; the first Rising Stars Arabia was on the 10th anniversary of founding the gym. This shows you his determination and his passion for the region and for boxing.”
Jose Mohan, the head of the Middle East Professional Boxing Commission, will be officiating this weekend.
“It’s a happy moment for MEPB as a commission to see platforms like Rising Stars doing the right thing, building the fan base for the regional talent and giving them global exposure on global platforms,” he said.
“It’s great that the UAE could be home for foreign fighters and the region can be home for foreign fighters and foreign promoters. But we need local appetite in the sport and that’s what’s being created through Rising Stars Arabia.”
Seddiqi added: “The main point behind Rising Stars Arabia is to have a solid platform for the Arab boxers throughout the Middle East and North Africa. They haven’t been given opportunities on the big scale of boxing and this is the roadmap for them to reach that level in global boxing.”