Eisa Aldah, the UAE's only professional boxer, has pulled out of the chance to fight on the undercard of Amir Khan's world title fight on Saturday because his fans in the Emirates will not be able to see it.
Aldah, currently based in Bristol, was due to take on Jimmy Briggs in a four-round light-welterweight contest at the Metro Radio Arena. It was scheduled as the final bout on the bill at Newcastle where Khan faces Dmitry Salita in the first defence of his WBA light-welterweight title.
But with the show being televised on Sky Box Office, a pay-per-view channel, al Dah has switched his fight to the following week in Newport so viewers in the UAE will be able to see him in action. "It was not possible to get this shown on Dubai TV so we will wait," he says. "I know everyone dreams to fight on Amir Khan's card and I was so happy to get this chance. "But, for me, it is more important to do what's good in the long term.
"I'm doing this for my country. My main goal is reaching out and showing what is possible for other boxers in the UAE. "I am the first and want to set the best example."
Aldah said he did not think his move would damage his career as his is a non-title fight. "I was ready and prepared to fight on Saturday, but why do I take this fight when my people in the UAE cannot see it," he added. "The people there are waiting to see Eisa fight and watch him on the TV. They stay up late in the night to watch this live.
"I want people to see what I am doing and how I am progressing. I'm not fighting for a title so there is no need to take a risk. "I am building slowly and will wait a week and hopefully everyone can see me fight." Aldah will be at Newcastle to cheer Khan on against Salita. The Emirati, 30, has been training at the British Boxer's Bolton gym and built up a friendship after meeting him in Dubai earlier this year.
"I feel like he's my brother," added Aldah. "I'm praying for Amir to beat Salita. If he wins, I feel like I'm winning too."
Meanwhile, Khan's trainer Freddie Roach is confident that his charge will improve as a fighter now that he is world champion. "Winning world titles makes guys better fighters," Roach said. "Some guys get satisfied and just take it for granted, but not Amir - he wants to learn to get better.
"Just being the champion, he has pride and he doesn't want to lose that title. It is going to make him that much tougher." Roach, who also trains multi-weight champion Manny Pacquiao, arguably the world's best pound-for-pound boxer, believes Khan's continued physical development will see him climbing the weight divisions as time goes on. "He will be a welterweight some day in the near future," said Roach. "As long as he carries that speed and power up with him, we'll climb as we go.
"Not everyone can do that of course, and Pacquiao is an unusual person. To go from 112 pounds to 147 is quite a jump. "But he (Khan) has filled out a little bit as we have gone and he went from a boy to a man."