DUBAI // Eisa Aldah, the UAE's lone professional boxer, is the top attraction in tonight's Dubai International Boxing Championship at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
He is up against Ignasi Caballero Perez of Spain in a four-round welterweight contest for the UAE World Championship belt.
"I have been training hard," Aldah said. "My coach [Anthony "Chill" Wilson], he is the best. He has been pushing me, shaping me mentally and physically.
"He has put me at a level as never before and all those who come to watch me will see something special in this fight.
"I'm trying my best to relax and be confident. The guy I fight has a good record … but I will try to out-box him. I have speed and I'm strong.
"I believe in myself and so do my trainer and team, they believe in me. I'm not thinking about anything other than this fight. This is my night.
"I want to dance around a lot. This is my new style. I have improved my footwork. The coach has taught me to relax and he wants me to be an entertainer in the ring. This was in me for a long time but I didn't have the confidence."
Aldah, 32, who has moved up from light welterweight to welterweight, has a 6-2 win record including three knockouts.
The Emirati's last bout was in the US in August last year when he lost to Anthony Woods on a 39-37 points decision.
He has won both his previous fights in Dubai, against Americans Larry Foster, which launched his career in 2007, and David Love the following year.
Wilson said he has seen a lot of improvement in Aldah and believes Dubai is an emerging centre for the sport.
"I had to make him mentally strong for boxing," he said. "This is new to him. He doesn't have a lot of experience. I'm looking forward to coming over here and being the boxing coach of Dubai and not only to train Eisa.
"There is a future here for the boxers. Eisa is the testimony … He had a dream and he has fulfilled it. Who knows what's ahead of him?
"And if he is saying he has got something special then you will see it on the night. I'm not going to reveal anything just yet. All I can say now is to come out and see him in the ring."
Wilson does not know much about Aldah's opponent. He said: "All I know about him is that he is from Spain and based in Miami. It really doesn't matter - if Eisa does what I tell him to do in the ring, he will prevail."
The feature bout on the seven-fight card involves the American welterweight Brad "The Sultan" Solomon. The 27-year-old three-time National Golden Gloves winner will face Mexico's Victor Hugo Correa in a 10-round contest.