x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Boxer Eisa Aldah wants next fight in Dubai

The Emirati has an invitation to compete in the US but wants to contribute to growth of the sport in UAE.

DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Feb 2 : Eisa Aldah ( UAE right ) and Miguel Angel Munguia ( Mexico left ) during the Dubai International Boxing Championship held at the Aviation Club in Dubai. Eisa won the fight. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For Sports. Story by Gary Meenaghan
DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Feb 2 : Eisa Aldah ( UAE right ) and Miguel Angel Munguia ( Mexico left ) during the Dubai International Boxing Championship held at the Aviation Club in Dubai. Eisa won the fight. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For Sports. Story by Gary Meenaghan

DUBAI // With his head still throbbing from the previous night's pugilism, Eisa Aldah yesterday conceded the referee made a "bad call" during his win at the Dubai International Championship.

Aldah, 33, defeated Miguel Angel Munguia by unanimous decision over five rounds on Thursday night at the Aviation Club.

However, the American referee Steve Smoger's decision to rule out a knock-down proved crucial to the judges' scorecards. Midway through the second round, Aldah was caught with an uppercut from the 29-year-old Munguia and fell to his knees, but Smoger ruled the Emirati had slipped.

"He hit me with a couple of good shots," Aldah said. "When he caught me with the uppercut, my legs gave way and I went down, but the referee thought I slipped, so it didn't count. I am honest, it was a good shot from my opponent and a bad call from Steve. It should have counted."

Aldah recovered and floored his opponent seconds later, handing him the second round by two points. Munguia was downed again in the third by a flurry of punches, but fought back to dominate the fourth and fifth rounds.

"I knew it was going to be difficult," Aldah said. "He mixed it up and confused me by changing his stance from orthodox to southpaw and, near the end, he surprised me with his body shots. He caught me in the liver and now I'm in a little bit of pain both in my body and my head."

Aldah said he will focus on recovering fully before making a decision on his next fight, but added that he has an invitation to fight next month in the United States.

"I think maybe I will fight again in Dubai in April instead," he said. "I want to continue fighting here and continue to develop the sport in this region. Every boxer wants to give something back to his hometown, and I am no different."

The Aviation Club was at less than half its capacity during the DIBC, which was promoted by Aldah's own company, EMD Sports Services, but he said he was happy with the turnout.

"The venue was huge, but the crowd was not bad," he said. "I think it was a success, but now I want to put my 100 per cent focus into training. Next time I will not be involved in the promoting."

Aldah trained with Amir Khan last year in preparation for this week's fight, which was postponed from a December 16 date. Khan, a former champion at two weight classes, has already been in contact to pass on his congratulations, Aldah said.

 

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae

For a report of Aldah's fight and a round-up of the rest of the card, visit www.thenational.ae/sport