x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE's top boxer Eisa al Dah inspired by the death of his father

The Emirati boxer has vowed to one day become a world champion, hoping the first step to that goal is against Ignasi Cabellero Parez in the Dubai International Boxing Championship on February 18.

Eisa al Dah has vowed to become a world champion in honour of his father, who recently passed away.
Eisa al Dah has vowed to become a world champion in honour of his father, who recently passed away.

DUBAI // Eisa al Dah will use the recent death of his father as his inspiration when he fights against Ignasi Cabellero Parez, the Spaniard, in the Dubai International Boxing Championship on February 18.

Mohammed Abdullah al Dah passed away on January 20 after suffering from kidney problems -just 28 days before his son's ninth professional bout.

Eisa admits he thought about simply postponing the fight - before considering his father's lifelong dream.

"It is very hard," Eisa said."I wanted to cancel the fight, I don't want to fight, but then I thought about it and said, 'no, this was his dream, to see me fight and to see me become a champion'.

"It is very hard when you lose someone so special, and so close to the fight.

"You want to concentrate because boxing is not an easy sport. It is very, very hard and you have to be fully focused on what you are doing.

"Every moment I think of my father and I tell myself I have to be strong. I have to do this for him because he was so proud of me.

"It was his dream to see me become something in this sport and I will do my best to fulfil it.

"I will fight till the end, just for my father.

"He wanted me to be a big champion. Everywhere he went, he was talking about me. Now I am fighting for him.

"It is so hard to fight, but I want to fight for him. Before I was fighting for the UAE, now I am fighting for my country, my people and for my father."

The bereavement has disturbed Eisa's preparations for the bout, but with the arrival of his coach Anthony Wilson, from the United States, the 32-year-old is hoping to find more encouragement and support as he fights for the first time in the welterweight category.

"My main coach is arriving and he is the best," Eisa, who has fought all his previous bouts in the super lightweight category, said. "He is always pushing me. I spent three months with him in the US and we worked really hard, especially on the mental part.

"He will be here and that will be great. I need him because I feel close to him. He is the one who has changed me, pushed me up a level and I believe I am better boxer than in 2007.

"I have good skills, I am training hard, I have speed and a good punch. I just need more experience. I have a vision and a plan for the future.

"In two or three years, I want to be a world champion. This is my dream and I know it will not be easy, but I have to do it.

"Boxing is my life, it is my destiny now.

"In three years, I want to win one of the big belts. I want to become a world champion for him [his father]. I don't care what the people think or say. I will do my best."

 

arizvi@thenational.ae